Thursday, May 5, 2016

Day 3: Open Space, Cassava, Papa Wemba

Today, we traveled to Kimpoko to visit the site of the GOF's future village.  The open space is a stark contrast to the crowded city of Kinshasa.

Crops have been planted on the land to provide food for the children at the orphanages in Kinshasa. This cassava was grown on the land.  It is drying and then will be ground up to make a flour.

Papa Wemba, a famous Congolese musician, passed away and the funeral procession was today.  We traveled through streets lined with people waiting to pay their respects.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Day 2: Muddy Roads, Diapers, Play Mats, and the Power of Human Touch

It rained this morning so our drive to the orphanage was quite muddy and very bumpy.

We delivered the diapers.  Thanks to our generous donors, we had over 500 diapers to provide to the orphanage.

There was a training for the mommas on how to properly use and care for the diapers.

We also provided some child development training on the fundamentals for cognitive and motor development.

There was my adorable model who helped demonstrate the proper use of the play mats.

And, then there was this sweet malnourished infant that was so agitated but settled with a single, human touch.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Day 1: When I Know Your Name

David Platt has a great quote “We learned that orphans are easier to ignore before you know their names.  They are easier to ignore before you see their faces.  It is easier to pretend they’re not real before you hold them in your arms.  But once you do…everything changes”

Today, we traveled back to one of GOF’s partner orphanages.  As I walked in, I saw several familiar faces….but there were three that I knew their names.  As I looked at them, I felt an overwhelming sadness that this small confined space was still their life.  As I talked with one, I wondered if someone was truly watching out for her best interest.  As I put new shoes on their feet, I wondered if they would ever get the chance to pick out their own shoes.

Davinia, Ety, and Chanel...I know their names, I have seen their faces, and I have touched them.  I cannot forget...because for me, knowing them has made everything change!

Tuesday, March 29, 2016


Over the past week, I have been participating in a study on the Nicene Creed at If:Gathering.  The Nicene Creed is a profession of faith used by the Christian community. The Creed simply states the foundation of what we, as followers of Christ, believe.

Last week, we looked at "We believe in God, the Father Almighty..."  In the midst of delving into this statement, we looked at some scripture references about how we are adopted as children of God.

"But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship"  Galatians 4:4

"The Spirit you receive does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship.  And by him we cry, "Abba, Father!"  Romans 8:15

This topic struck a nerve with me as an adopted mother of three children.  Before adopting, I thought "How nice! God adopts me and we become one big happy family."  After walking the adoption journey, I have a new perspective on God adopting us...

*Adoption is hard.  Each one of my adopted children lost their birth family and country in order to become a Siegrist.  Their story to our family involves a great loss!
God had to watch His only son, Jesus, die a brutal death in order for us to become part of his family. Jesus had to experience God's wrath on the cross so that we may one day live with Him.  There was pain, grieving, loss, and heartbreak involved in God's adoption of us!

*Adoption was not God's first and perfect choice.  I firmly believe that in a world without sin, God's first and perfect choice would have been for my children to remain with their birth families. While I think each of my children's adoption story is beautiful and even miraculous, they lost their birth family and a piece of themselves in their adoption journey.
If Adam and Eve had never sinned, there would be no need for adoption and we would have enjoyed perfect harmony with God. Instead, pain and suffering are now part of our story.  While our adoption is beautiful, because it was not God's perfect plan, we have and will experience great pain.

*Adoption is not a one time event.   So often, people pray for and support you as your adopting.  Once the child is home, they feel like the goal has been reached...the prayers were answered.  Honestly, looking back, that was the easy part!  The doctor's appointments, hard questions, therapy sessions, and personalities that don't mimic your own are the real struggles.
Jesus tells us that we must "take up our cross daily and follow Him".  Becoming a child of God is not a one time deal or a simple prayer that never needs to be revisited.  Everyday, we must chose to accept the love and grace of our new family and leave behind the pain of our past.

*In the end, adoption is beautiful!  Despite the struggles, heartache, and pain, adoption is beautiful.  When I look at my children with their pain, struggles, loss, and heartbreak, I love them for what they have overcome, for who they are, and who they will become.  I would gladly walk through each step of our journey again.
Earthly adoption is a picture of how God suffered great pain, loss, and heartache in order to bring us into His family.  I believe when He looks at me, He sees the struggles I have overcome, the person I truly am right now, and the person He wants me to become, and He loves me!  I believe He would do it all again in order for me to become part of His family!

Sunday, September 27, 2015

People Are So Generous

Today, when discussing the Silent Auction/Fundraiser with my children, Noah said these words to me "People are so generous".  His child like realization reminded me that the time, hard work, and money were all worth it because people were so generous and orphans lives are forever changed...

People were so generous with their donations of auction items and their time....

People were so generous when they gave up their Saturday night to come out and bid on the great collection of items...

People were so generous with their money.  At this point, we have raised around $19,000 to feed and medicate the orphans in the DRC.  This money will truly save the lives of orphans in the Democratic Republic of Congo!  

So, for the orphans who have no voice, THANK YOU!  Your donations and time are changing lives. I am truly humbled by each of you!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Guatemala: Learning Humility over a Wash Basin

As I thought over my week in Guatemala, there were so many stories and memories to share...I truly had a hard time deciding what to blog about (hence the delayed blog:)

I could have written about...

the 300+ medical checks that were completed on children who have little or no access to medical care...

the old and new friends that bonded in our love for the people of Guatemala and our calling to give to the "least of these"...

the beautiful children who steal my heart and compel me to do more, give more, love more, share more...

the conquering of my fear of horses as I scaled a volcano on one...

the families living in extreme poverty and the mom who is fighting against the system to provide an education for her children despite the fact that having them stay home and work in the fields would triple her income...

the City Dump where the smell is overwhelming, trash is everywhere, vultures wait for a piece of dead animals or human remains dumped from the cemetary, and children hide in garbage trucks in order to sneak into the dump and pull food from the trash for their family...

While all of these sights tugged on my heart, our Friday activities moved me the most.  On Friday, we went to a Feeding Center in the City Dump community to wash feet and give out shoes.

There were over 300 children waiting to receive shoes from us.  We had very little time to set up. The families crowded in on us desperate for a pair of shoes.  It was chaotic and overwhelming!

Now, I had volunteered to wash feet. WHAT?  Let me say it again...I, the clean freak, the one who won't allow my children to run around without shoes, the one who wears shoes in my own home, the one who hates feet, volunteered to wash feet.

So many parts of this experience were challenging for me...the dirt, the smell, the ripped up shoes, the children pushing to get their feet in my water basin, the lack of fluent Spanish that would have allowed me to give explicit direction, the chaos..,

Despite was the closest I felt to God during the entire trip.  I, the one with the power in that social situation, was humbling myself and washing their feet.  What a reversal of how it normally is when I get my pedicures!  I got to look in each child's eyes, talk to them in my broken Spanish, tell them how important school is, and pray for them in my spirit.

Their smiles were priceless!  I wasn't offering them anything, but they were waiting in line for me to wash their feet.  I was truly happy throughout the entire chaotic event.  I. LOVED. EVERY. MINUTE. OF. IT!  At the conclusion, the Pastor of the Feeding Center said..."People have brought them shoes before, but no one has ever washed their feet." 
My eyes were full of tears...we truly showed those children love!  

"The King will reply "Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sister of mine, you did for me."  Matthew 25:40