Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas in Bennett and Hope for 100 launch

I'm looking forward to spending Christmas in Bennett with my family!

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).

KIVA Loans that change lives

Great opportunity! One friend is giving KIVA gift certificates as Christmas presents this year. A great way to give back and help people around the world.

The banner below will feature actual entrepreneurs that you can help!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

"Amazima" Uganda Orphan Care

I was introduced to Katie Davis last weekend. Brad Davidson and Brittany's Hope met with her last week to learn more about her work in Uganda. Check out Katie's blog - "The Journey". Amazing work in Uganda!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Adoption Video from Target

Jason posted this video on the ABBA Fund blog yesterday. Very well done and includes testimony and narration by Paul and Teri Singer.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thanksgiving - adoption story

Here's a recent post about the Morris Family from Jason Kovacs and the ABBA Fund blog.

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

The last few weeks

It's been busy, busy, busy since the marathon. Mostly working with the ABBA Fund, but also editing video for Living Hope and helping out with the family business (Gullion's and Magnet America).

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

Sunday morning on the Metro

Heading down to the Pentagon on the Vienna train with Andy and Drew. Ready to get this marathon over with! Thanks for all of the support from so many of you.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Karyn Purvis mention on adoption

I found this blog post on adoption and was glad to see Dr. Purvis mentioned. She has dedicated her life to helping children and families with practical information to deal with many of these issues. Dr. Karyn Purvis was also interviewed for this recent Newsweek article about adoption. More information on the TCU Institute of Child Development. The video below is also linked in the Newsweek story and has some interesting interviews with families.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Providence adoption conference

I had a great time today in Raleigh at the 3rd annual adoption conference hosted by Providence Baptist Church. Teresa George and the other volunteers do a great job hosting. The Mestas family was there and their adoption and Ethiopia experiences are amazing.

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

Texas trip

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.

Dwain Gullion
Sent from my BlackBerry Wireless Handheld

Monday, August 18, 2008

Team LWB Marathon

I'm training for the Marine Corps Marathon in D.C. on Oct. 26 and running with Love Without Boundaries. Mia is an orphan in China and one of the many special needs children that LWB helps! I'll be running for Mia to help fit her with a prosthetic foot. Any sponsorship is welcome! And pray that I can finish 26.2...

Magnet America custom magnets

Shameless plug - The folks at Magnet America are doing a great job these days on custom products. Great fundraiser!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Asheville and Georgia

We had a great time with or friends Keith and Melissa Glover at the concert at Biltmore. Great to visit Heidi's family and Grandma in Dahlonega too!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

China and Russia adoptions are down

China adoptions to the US - 7,906 in 2005 down to 5,453 in 2007 - a decrease of 31%
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...

Upcoming Together for Adoption Conference

Coming to Greenville, SC on November 1, 2008 - Theme - "Our Adoption in Christ: What it Means for Us and for Orphans". Look forward to seeing you there!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Jason Kovacs post

Great article by Jason on the Desiring God website. He does a great job advocating for the care of 132,000,000 orphans in the world and the 129,000 available for adoption in the US alone!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

SCC at Biltmore - Asheville, NC

We bought our tickets this morning! Looking forward to the concert on August 1st. Amazing to see God's blessings on the first two concerts back...

Saturday, July 12, 2008

May 24 Post - Dallas and Nashville

This is a post and one comment that was lost due to technical difficulties...

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

Kieth said...

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

SCC back on stage

"Blessed be your name" - Steven Curtis Chapman performs at Lifest in Oshkosh, WI.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Colorado with Dr. Davidson

It's been another busy weekend! I flew into Denver Thursday and met Brad Davidson. Friday was full of meetings with Vision Trust (Matt), Focus on the Family (Reed), World Orphans (Paul, Mike and Scott), Children's Hopechest (Tom), Saint's Coffee (Brett), Hope's Promise (Melissa) and HISG (Mike). Many great orphan care projects going on, especially in Africa. Also, there was much interest in the ABBA Fund and church partnerships for adoption assistance. It was a busy day!

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

Summit IV

Just returned from Ft Lauderdale. Great to see so many folks involved in orphan care and adoption. One of the amazing projects that I learned more about was 4KIDS of South Florida. They have helped more than 7,000 children through foster care programs in their area. Learn more about their program to help children find a loving home.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Monday, January 14, 2008

Beijing Olympics 2008

Interesting video segment as China is challenged with modernization and preserving their history.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Children's Hopechest and World Orphans

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

Heidi's Christmas letter

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 Faith Christian School. She is playing the violin and just had her first concert. Anna Brooke is a bright student. She is also a perfectionist and doesn’t like bringing home anything less than 100s! Anna Brooke has continued her fundraising for the Smile Train. Seven children have new smiles thanks to her work.

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 Sydney and of course he still loves his Great Uncle Glenn. We are so blessed by our children.

Some highlights of our year were Dwain’s trip to China in February, a week at the beach with some close friends and two weeks at Camp Nathanael in Kentucky. The Kentucky trip also included a weekend at “the Blue House” near Stanford to visit some special friends and a very loved cowboy named Tex. Once again we were the missionary speakers at camp. This year we were there during Sr. High week. Dwain was also a team leader. With much work and determination his team, the yellow jackets won. We LOVE Camp Nathanael and it’s family. They have a wonderful ministry in the mountains of Kentucky.

We also spent 5 weeks in China this past spring. I think the best word to sum up that trip is memorable. We visited both of our girl’s home towns and orphanages. We were able to see many precious people from their past. We also gained a lot of new information for Sarah Hope. We visited some very precious orphans. Although we weren’t able to visit all the orphanage projects we planned and we encountered a lot of sickness, we had a question answered for us. We won’t be moving to China in the near future. We will continue to do all we can for the fatherless in China and around the world.

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 (China orphan care) and the Global Orphan Care Foundation. As for me, well, I am Mama to three precious children and very blessed to be a wife to Dwain. Our life is so busy, but so blessed. As Dwain and I often discuss, life is so short, but eternity is forever. Are we doing what really counts for eternity? During this busy time, take time to think about it. Whom will you spend your eternity with? Are you making your time count for eternity? God doesn’t ask much of us…just to accept His free gift of salvation and then to be willing to be used.

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

Sunset of 2007

The sun was already below the horizon as my flight took off from Greensboro to Memphis this afternoon. As we took off the sky was clear and I could tell from the orange glow that I was looking to the west from my window seat. As we began to ascend the sky became brighter and then as we continued I could begin to see the sun. What a beautiful image as the sky became brighter and a rainbow of colors appeared. I thought about an attempt to capture a memory on my camera and decided it wouldn’t be worthwhile since a little pocket Sony Cybershot just doesn’t do a sunset justice. As I experienced this for the first time, a few thoughts came to mind. The sunset reminded me of 2007 fading off but also of the exciting times that lay ahead as we continue to rise above many obstacles for 2008.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 Uganda and others are making a difference by engaging with the “local” organizations in-country that are caring for orphans.

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!