Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Next weekend I'll be flying to Texas for the launch of Hope for 100 in Tyler, Texas. It will be great to see all our friends at Green Acres Baptist Church in Tyler. The Abba Fund is partnering to provide interest free loans and other services for Hope for 100 families!
I'll try to post photos and maybe some video from the launch Sunday (Jan. 4).
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Friday, December 5, 2008
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
We love helping families adopt. We love it even more when we get to help them adopt again! Doug and Mary Morris are an ordinary couple that have stepped out in faith and seen God work in extraordinary ways! They have adopted two children already and are adopting their third child - all in less than two years. Furthermore, they have a special burden for children with medical needs. I asked Mary to share some her perspective on this as this is an area that so many folks wrestle with when adopting:
“When we first looked at adoption, we went through the list of “minor special needs” and were comfortable with most of them, except for heart issues. That was just a big no-no for us, something we immediately shook our heads at and stubbornly said, “No way!” Isn’t it amazing how the Lord changes hearts?
It began with our first adoption when we met Lydia in China. The thing that struck us was how her special need (cleft lip/palate) did not define her. She wasn’t a cleft-affected child who happened to be our daughter. She was our daughter, who happened to be cleft affected. The visit to the orphanage was even more eye-opening. Children waiting for homes, unacceptable because of a club foot, a hole in their heart, or their age alone (which still continues to shock me). The thoughts — “What if he died?” “What if he needed a heart transplant?” “What if he always walked with a limp?” — they just swarm you, until one thought pokes through. “What if I’m saying ‘no’ out of fear?”
We returned home to the US, and after a few days of prayer, started our paperwork to adopt Sam, a heart baby!!!! The Lord had obviously done a chunk of work in both Doug’s and my heart while in China!!!
Sam was born with tricuspid atresia and hypoplastic left heart syndrome. Both are life-threatening. The surgeries needed are just ones that enable the heart to work more efficiently with all of its problems, but they do not “fix” the problem. When Samuel came home in February, 2008 (picture of meeting at airport above), we were shocked at how “normal” he looked. He ran. He played. He was never out of breath. He was just our son, who happened to have heart disease.
This is not true of every story….not every child comes with the best case scenario, but it does happen frequently!
We are so blessed to have been given the chance to see past the scars and the speech issues and to have been given a glance at what God sees — the heart of a child! What an amazing gift!!!
This past October Doug and I celebrated our 9th anniversary. We got a babysitter and went out to eat and to the movies. Sometime during supper, we started talking about if our family was complete, and we both said, “No.” Somewhere out there, there is another child for our family. Little did we know…
A few hours later we came home with the kids, and I was checking email before going to bed, and there was a message from Ben’s sister. It said, “Hey, do you want to adopt again?” or something along those lines. I opened the email and just melted…She talked about Pierre, in the US on a medical mission, and VERY, VERY sick. He has, besides a cleft lip and palate, a condition called Panhypopituitarism. He could not return to Haiti because he would die in just a few days without the proper medical care. His birthmom made a choice to place him for adoption. Doug and I read this with our mouths open!
Through the help of the ABBA Fund we are able to adopt Pierre and provide him with the medical care the he needs!
Saturday, November 22, 2008
We had friends that work in China visit last weekend and they have a 5 year old daughter. Sarah Hope had a great with her new friend. The wives went to the Shaohannah's Hope weekend and were really blessed. Geoff Moore shared a story about his daughter - She asked "did Jesus know my name when I was in China?". Heidi can tell you the rest sometime...
Brad and Jo Davidson are here this weekend with their kids. We went to a Faith Christian's fall festival last night and had some great NC bbq! We're having a jewelry show today with some of Jo's designs including the Heaven bracelet...
Monday, October 27, 2008
My first marathon has come and gone. Yesterday was perfect for running and Love Without Boundaries raised $25,000! Drew and Andy Thompson also had a great time and yes, they both finished ahead of me. I caught some photos of the run and of our nation's capital. It was a long day but lot's of fun and I'm looking forward to the next marathon. Drew (one of the few 14 year olds there) ran a 4:47 and is definitely coming back next year to break all the records. I definitely have a time that I should be able to beat in the future. I'll post it next year if it's more respectable. I'm thinking about running the Nashville marathon in April if my legs are ready by then...
|Marine Corps Marathon Washington D.C. 2008|
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Monday, October 13, 2008
Sunday, September 28, 2008
I just ran 15 miles and my brother-in-law Andy ran 19. Not much fun running until midnight in the fog and drizzle but only 4 weeks until the Marine Corps Marathon in D.C. - www.teamlwb.com
I'm looking forward to running for Mia and Love Without Boundaries. My main goal is to finish alive, healthy and to not get picked up by the straggler bus when they open the I-35 bridge to traffic at mile 19 :)
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Saturday, August 30, 2008
I'm flying home this morning from Dallas. I met Eugene and Jason from the Abba Fund on Wed morning and we met with a World Orphans rep for lunch before driving over to Tyler. Some really good meetings. One of the highlights was visiting Living Alternatives in Lindale, TX on Thursday. A ministry operated by YWAMers that provides a home and an oasis for young ladies choosing between adoption or parenting while they are expecting. Bev is the founder and is still directing after 27 years. It was amazing to hear her commitment and passion as she shared with us her experiences.
We also visited the Mercy Ships campus with our friends Glenn and Carol. The Africa Mercy is doing amazing work in Liberia.
Friday I visited Scott and Mark at Gladney. What a heritage Gladney has with the history of caring for orphans and providing homes for children since the 19th century. Karyn Purvis was out of town but I stopped by the TCU Institute of Child Development in Fort Worth and met Vicki and two other ladies that are editing the new videos. Looking forward to being able to use those in the near future to deliver more information to families and care givers dealing with children with sensory integration and attachment issues. Spent some time with friends Paul and Sharon in Frisco last night (talked too late but really enjoyed the visit) and got up this morning at 3:50. Feelin good :)
Glad to be almost home to NC. Texas is great but it was hot... and I miss Heidi and the kids.
Sent from my BlackBerry Wireless Handheld
Monday, August 18, 2008
Friday, August 15, 2008
Thursday, July 31, 2008
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Russia adoptions to the US - 4,639 in 2005 down to 2,310 in 2007 - a decrease of 50%
The overall decline has been consistent through 2005 - 2007 for the first time since 1992 according to the US State Dept. and 2008 will probably continue the trend. More reason to get involved in supporting indigenous orphan care around the globe.
We also have many needs at home with over 129,000 children in foster care available for adoption as mentioned in Jasons Kovacs' recent post on Desiring God. Ways to get involved - The ABBA Fund, Shaohannah's Hope, and many other organizations...
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Sunday, July 13, 2008
Saturday, July 12, 2008
Dallas and Nashville
The last few days have been a roller coaster ride. Wednesday night we heard the news about Maria Sue Chapman as Heidi was checking some of our favorite online adoption groups. The Chapman family has been in our prayers continuously since this happened. Thursday morning at 5am I set out for RDU to fly to Dallas for a meeting with Halftime as I was representing The ABBA Fund and LegacyChild. It was a very encouraging time spent with several ministries invloved in orphan care, micro finance, mission work, etc. Included were The Heart Gallery, Crown, Wycliffe and Partners Worldwide. It was great to learn from other ministries and to develop strategies to incorporate "halftimers" into our organizations.
Friday afternoon I received a call from a close friend. He was feeling like he should attend the memorial celebration in Nashville for Maria Chapman. He found a flight from PA and I changed flights and arrived this morning at 9am to meet him. We arrived at the church 1 hour early. It was a time of grieving and rejoicing over a beautiful life. Family and friends shared how she loved her family and was the happiest when they were all together. There were times of laughing through the tears as stories were told about little Maria by her preschool teacher, close friends and
family. It was truly life changing and I will be forever impacted by the music of Michael W. Smith and others, the humble and powerful prayer by Robin Hill, the healing truth spoken by Caleb, the challenge and reassuring by Kerry and Scott Hasenbalg, the clear gospel presentation by Emily and the many other evidences that God was in our presence.
Thank you to the Chapman family for sharing these personal moments with all of us. God is using the Chapman family in an amazing way. Although this tragedy is confusing now, as time passes, God's purpose and plan will become clearer. One of the amazing illustrations that was shared today.
Posted by Dwain Gullion at 4:47 PM
Dwain, Melissa and I have been praying for and thinking of you guys, the
Chapman family and all the other folks involved in the adoption
ministries over the past few days. It was great to talk with you on the
phone tonight...please keep in touch and let us know of specific prayer
requests that you have. God bless!
Keith and Melissa Glover
May 24, 2008 6:32 PM
Friday, July 11, 2008
Sunday, June 1, 2008
Saturday we visited Estes Park and then met the Blount family (Timberline Church and Chili's!) in Fort Collins. They have 6 children and two of them were adopted. Barry and Julie have been a huge inspiration in my life. They were very involved in our 2002 adoption from China and it was great to see them and to thank them again after so many years! I took lots of pictures Heidi. Carrie is really growing up! She's 8 and 1/2 now! Katie is 10 and she wrote a letter for me to bring home. Looking forward to heading back in the morning.
Hard to belief that it was only a week ago that I was in Nashville for Maria's memorial service. Everyone we met with this weekend is still praying for the Chapman family. It has been hard for all of us that have been impacted by the Chapman's ministry but some of the close family and friends really need our prayers as they try to be strong for the Chapmans and also cope themselves. Brad has a CD that we listened to in the car today of E.V. Hill from 1987 as he preached his wife's funeral. He shared that he experienced two things: "Tears and Strength". Praying that as tears are shed that God will continue to strengthen...
Monday, May 5, 2008
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Monday, January 14, 2008
Sunday, January 6, 2008
Two organizations making a difference for orphans. On Wednesday Matthew Monberg and George Steiner sat down with Tim Wall and me. Children's Hopechest is doing a tremendous work in Russia and Swaziland and also adding more projects in more countries. Check them out at www.hopechest.org
Paul Myhill also shared over the phone the broadening vision at World Orphans as they develop programs beyond buildings - www.worldorphans.org Their website is to be updated soon.
Wednesday, January 2, 2008
Hello from the Gullions!
Another year has come and gone. This year has been a blur, partly due to the speed, the rest due to my lack of memory.
Anyway, we hope you all are well. Although we had some sickness this year, we had a year with no surgeries, yeah! The kids are busy and growing. Anna Brooke will be 7 January 1st. She is enjoying 1st grade at
Sarah Hope just turned 4 ½ . She finally reached 32 lbs. this year. This was quite the achievement! Sarah Hope has been working on the ABEKA 4K program at home. She is starting to blend sounds and spell simple words. I believe she will be reading soon. Sarah Hope and Jonathan have enjoyed music class this year. She is also continuing in speech. She works hard and is making strides in this area. Sarah hope continues to be our sweet, lively and loud girl. She has a tender heart toward God and is starting to ask questions about salvation. Please keep her in your prayers.
Jonathan will be 2 ½ at the end of the month. I can’t believe our baby boy is so big! He celebrated turning 2 with a John Deere party. He loves tractors! He also loves trains and is already talking about having a Thomas cake the next time. What can I say about Jonathan? I guess he’s just a sweet boy that loves life, balls, trains, tractors, his sisters, our dog
Some highlights of our year were Dwain’s trip to
We also spent 5 weeks in
Dwain continues to be an advocate and voice for the fatherless. He is very involved with The ABBA Fund. They provide interest free loans to Christian couples adopting. He is also involved with several other orphan care ministries including the Family Heritage Foundation, Living Hope International (
We hope you have a blessed holiday season. We love you and miss you all.
Come see us! We recently had a guest quarters made in the old Bennett Feed Mill. It’s cozy and has a cabin feel to it. You’re all welcome anytime.
Love to All!
Dwain, Heidi, Anna Brooke, Sarah Hope, and Jonathan Gullion
The sun was already below the horizon as my flight took off from
- Obstacles that keep families from adopting and the amazing ministry of The ABBA Fund that will help families overcome the financial barriers. Also the partnership of Family Life, Focus on the Family, Shaohannahs Hope, Crown Financial ministries and the numerous other organizations that are working together to establish a unified effort to care for orphans.
- Obstacles that keep orphans and children from receiving basic neccessities and how ministries like Living Hope International, Love Without Boundaries, Children’s Hopechest, Half the Sky, Life International, Hope for the Fatherless, Shaohannah’s Hope and many others facilitate care givers, medical needs and sugeries, educational and spiritual growth.
- Obstacles that keep countries from being able to care for their own orphans and vulnerable children. Whether it be cultural challenges, poverty, disease or just lack of resources and training. Organizations like Humanitarian International Services Group, The Global Orphan Care Foundation, Global Action for Children, Embrace
and others are making a difference by engaging with the “local” organizations in-country that are caring for orphans. Uganda
I’m excited to see what 2008 will bring as we work together to care for orphans and try to network with others to create awareness. I am also sobered by the thought of how many children will try to sleep tonight without the love of a mother or father. My prayer is that God will use all of us to have an impact for the fatherless. Let’s be passionate about caring for orphans and helping families adopt in 2008!