Monday, December 28, 2009

The Silence of the Stable

The Pyle family had a wonderful Christmas, but as you can imagine, there were three very good reasons why it felt incomplete. This time last year we had no idea that we would have a missing part to our family, but each and everyone of us felt it this year. We had three candles with pictures of each child on them that we lit on Christmas Eve as we prayed for Sam, Betty and Fallah in faith that next year they will be present in our home. Malachi, Mckenna and Mackaden all received necklaces with Sam, Betty and Fallah's pictures on it which was a huge hit for them. I am very happy to report that the kids had a very blessed Christmas feast at The Covering which even ended with a rented TV for a movie and popcorn. It just warmed my heart to know they were happy on such a special day. Thank you Jesus for all of our gifts, but this year, I am extra thankful for the joy You brought to my kids in Sierra Leone. Please visit to see some pictures of their Christmas party this year.
At the beginning of the Christmas week, just as things start to get "real" busy with baking cookies, wrapping gifts, and coordinating the different parties for the week, I found myself quite stressed. I have felt "Christmas stress" before and this was different. It was a mix of emotions that I was unable to place as familiar. I spent some time just asking God what He wanted me to get out of this Christmas season. I never want to miss what God has for me and especially during the years of having such young children in the home (which I have been told goes by way too quickly). I got an immediate response which was "I want you to hear the silence of the stable at My birth". I thought how is that possible during such a busy and hectic time? I think that is exactly what He was saying. As I began to think about the silence that must have been at the birth of Jesus, I imagined the animals slowly walking on the hay with the slight wind just outside and all of a sudden I began to feel the peace of that Christmas day. How very different than anything I have ever experienced at Christmas in this day and age. We did our very best to have a very low-key Christmas (honestly, slower than any Christmas I can remember) and I believe God is preparing us for the gifts we will soon receive. Christmas has never been about "stress" and how many parties can you possible fit into one weekend, but the love sent to earth on that very special day. You all know the story so I will leave it at that, but as I recall the Christmas of 2009, I will remember it as the silence of the stable.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

We have a winner

Thank you so much to all of those who supported our blanket auction by placing your bids. Sorry for those who had difficulty posting, but I am VERY happy to announce our winner to be Robin Hastings of McKinney, TX with a final bid of $150. Robin and his wife Kim have been very close friends of ours since our college days. This is just one more way they have proven their love and support to us. Thank you guys. I can't help to mention the Swann family, as they were instrumental in providing that friendly competition I was hoping for.

All of the donation will be going toward our home study.

Thank you, again!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Bring on the Bids!!!!

Just in time for Christmas the kids made a beautiful Christmas blanket to raise money for our adoption. We all just spoke to Sam, Betty and Fallah this morning by cell phone and everytime we talk to them we are MORE anxious to get them home. Please help us by placing your bid to have this blanket sent to you just in time for the holidays. All of the proceeds from this blanket will go toward our home study.

To make a bid please include your name and amount in the comment section of this post. The auction will remain open until December 14th. The highest bid will be announced at that time and I will make contact by email for shipping information. Please tell everyone you know to make a bid. A little friendly competition among friends never hurt anyone.

Thank you in advance...good luck
Fran and Lori

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Blankets of Hope

We have had a whirl wind 2 weeks. I hope this post finds you all full of turkey and counting all of your blessings. I know that describes our family at the end of this holiday weekend. We had an opportunity to spend the holiday with several of the girls that I went to Africa with. I am so blessed to have such a passionate group of people in my life. We looked at some video of the trip and I saw more great footage of Sam, Betty, and Fallah that I hope to be able to show on our blog soon.

Before we left for our trip, we had a "Blankets of Hope" outreach. For those of you who do not know, our daughter McKenna, started a ministry called Warm Hearts Warm Bodies and she makes blankets for people in need. It was her ministry that started the whole Africa passion for us. She was asked to make 90 blankets to send to "The Covering", which we did...and I think the rest is history. Well since I have been back, we were asked to make another 100 blankets for our local homeless shelter. We had our first blanket making party last week and we had around 55 people there and 57 blankets were made. Malachi, Mckenna, and Mackaden also made a blanket to raffle off at the party with the proceeds going to "The Covering". They made $178 on that blanket which I was able to hand deliver the money to The Raining Season while I was there this past weekend. I cannot believe the way in which God can use you if you just let Him. One of our big mission statements for Warm Hearts Warm Bodies is "to empower other people to do great things". When people see how a 7-year-old can really make an impact it can be amazing to watch other people want to do something to help.

We have started to process for the paperwork for the adoption, but we are coming to a point where we will need some financial help to get our kids home. I have had so many people ask how they can help us and I guess now is the time. Our first financial obligation is going to be for the home study and imigration paperwork. I am also going to start planning a trip to Sierra Leone for Feburary. I am pretty sure that I will not be able to bring the kids home at that time, but it would be my hope to get a court date and take care of the in-country paper work at that time. The country NOT having a great adoption process in place makes this a little tricky and not as efficient as some other international adoptions I have heard of. Once we get the paperwork done in both countries, then we will just have to wait for the visas and we will be able to go get our kids.

To start the fund raising process, I am going to have Malachi, McKenna, and Mackaden make another blanket that I would like to see if we could auction off on this blog. We have called these outreaches "Blankets of Hope" and that will hold true for these kids as well. Imagine the "hope" these kids will now have. I need for you to let everyone know to check out the blog and post a bid in the comment section. The auction will run for about a week before we will have a winner and hopefully a good start for our adoption finances. I will be posting a picture of that blanket within the next week so please be looking for it.

We have been asked if Sam, Betty, and Fallah have been told about our intentions to adopt. Not yet, but can you imagine how fun that will be. I will be sure to let everyone know the details of that story when we get the opportunity to tell them.
Lastly, please pray for Sam on Tuesday. He is having his much needed hernia surgery. It is so hard to not be there with him, but I know we can all cover him in prayer.

With love and Thanksgiving,

Donations will gladly be accepted: 5609 S. Rocky Top, Springfield MO, 65804

Friday, November 13, 2009

Meet the rest of us

So many of you have followed the blogs of when I was in Africa ( and and have fallen in love with Sam, Betty and Fallah. I wanted to give you a small look into our family and I pray that you will see our love for life as well as our love for each other. Fran and I have been married for 15 years and experienced so much. I love him more today than I ever have. He maybe is starting to "get me". I have always thought I could save the world "one lonely old man who I bring home for our family gatherings" at a time. Or puppies that I have to bring home because they look at me. NOW, Fran tells me that he new this adoption was going to happen before I ever left for Africa! He said "I knew how you were before I sent you" What a great man I have. "
This is what Fran looked like when I told him I wanted to adopt 3 more kids. Ok, not really but funny though. He is a super great dad. I can't wait for those kids to recieve the strength and love he has to offer.
Fran coaches Mackaden's and McKenna's soccer teams with some good friends of ours. This was at the end of the year party.
Our 3 kids keep us very busy, but "now we see" that we have space, time, and love to add 3 more.

This is Malachi. He is 10 years old. He played quarter back this year and had a great season. He cannot wait to teach Sam and Fallah about American football. This was Malachi (on the left)and his friend Kody after he had won MVP for offense. Way to go Malachi.
Malachi and Mackaden with their cousins after racing at the BMX track.
This is McKenna. She is 7 years old. She has an amazing heart and you will be hearing more about her very soon as I will be posting some information about her organization Warm Hearts Warm Bodies by McKenna. Here she just lost her front tooth!
I and a great friend coach McKenna's basketball team and this is just before one of her games. She was saying "We're gonna beat those stinky boys".
Sweet McKenna going to her cheer competition.
This is Mackaden. He is 4 years old. I guess he will still be the little guy in the family and he will REALLY have to work for everything he has with 5 older siblings.

This is Mackaden and his favorite horse Buck. I showed this picture to Sam while I was in Africa. He said "that is not safe".
Mackaden receiving his soccer trophy from his dad. I cannot wait until I can put pictures together of ALL my kids. I am proud of each and every one of them. I visualize Fran coaching Fallah's soccer team and Sam has got to play basketball with his height. I can also see Sam playing the drums as I have a very vivid memory of him at the orphanage beating on a bucket so the other kids could sing with a rhythm. And Betty...will she want to play the piano or will she be brave enough to cheer with McKenna? So many questions that only God has the answers to. Until then, please keep praying for us. We need the country to lift the adoption ban and make a way for us to get our kids home. We are "not so patiently" waiting.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Bringing Home Heros

Well I guess onced it's on a blog, it's official. I must admit I have been overwhelmed by the response to the first blog post. I have had so many people sending me messages with words of hope, love and encouragement. Also, several people expressing that they too have considered adoption. Let me just say one little thing...if you are being called, please listen to your heart because these children are in great need of a hero (as best said by an amazing fellow blogger I wanted to express how I am feeling about this process. First of all, eventhough I have said "yes" to this call, I really believe that these children are the true heros here. I had no idea that children could be so strong and brave. These kids have seen so much and felt so much pain. They lived through a brutal civil war where they witnessed their father being shot before their eyes, they have been in an orphanage for six years where they had to fight for food that was already in short supply, and they have been abused and treated like animals. They have had no hope for a future...until now! Sam's bravery to run away from that orphanage to come find me and save himself and his siblings was the beginning of them living out their destiny. I am so honored to be a part of that. One day when I was just hanging out with Sam (Betty and Fallah had not yet been rescued) I was doing some school work with him and I wanted to see how much English he knows so I wrote a simple sentence to see if he could read it, "I'm so glad you are here." He smiled real big and took my paper so he could respond, "Your are my glory". Yep, I cried. Still do actually. Also while we were hanging out that day, I put on some praise music which he thought was really cool because the orphanage he was in did not have electicity much less a cd player, but anyway the song "I Am Free..." was on. Once again I saw that big smile because for the first time he was free!!!! All of this felt so good to me because now he is in a good center with plenty of food and water. He was going to school for the first time in 4 years and he had medicine for when he gets sick, but you know he did get sick and it was then that I realized I was not ok with him be in a "center" no matter how great the center (and it is). He has no one to comfort him when he doesn't feel well, no one to share his school successes or failures with, and no one to pray with him before he closes his eyes at night. At the end of the day, he is still an orphan. This breaks my heart but these kids are so strong and I know we will have much to teach them about American life, but I can't wait to see all of the things they will be teaching us as well. They are heros for sure in my eyes.

A little bit about my other 3. Malachi, McKenna, and Mackaden have opened their hearts wide for these kids and I am already watching God change some ways of thinking for them. I could not be more pleased with the compassion and love they have for Sam, Betty and Fallah. As a matter of fact, Mackaden (my 4 year old) said to me tonight, "I really miss Fallah. When he gets here we will play all of the time and he will love me." They already have the heart of "family".

Many people have asked me "when". Well it would be my hope that they will be here in 7-9 months, but I REALLY need your prayers. The country of Sierra Leone doesn't have a system in place for adoption and to say the least they are not the easiest to work with. That being said, God is faithful to keep his promises and He put these kids right in the middle of our hearts. We didn't do that. God commands us to care for the orphans so I know this decision is lining up with His word. We just need prayer to make some things happen. "For you know all about it, the contempt the abuse. I dare to believe the luckless will get lucky someday in you. You won't let them down. ORPHANS won't be orphans forever" Psalm 10:14 (Message)

In addition, I will be asking for donations to start the adoption process. The entire process should take about %20,000 so we will start our fund raising very soon. As a matter of fact, be looking for a post to display a blanket made by Warm Hearts Warm Bodies that we will be auctioning off to initiate the home study.

Again Thank you so much for your support and love. It has truly inspired me so see how many amazing people I know, as well as people I hope to know soon.

I love you all

Sunday, November 8, 2009

We have an announcement...

Thank you for joing us on this adventure. As I have stated, the Pyle family has an announcement to make. Some will have known it all along while others will be caught as off guard as we were. So here it goes...we have decided to adopt 3 beautiful children from Sierra Leone, West Africa. Yes, I said we have decided to adopt 3 beautiful children. It helps me to say it outloud a few times to really understand what I am saying because I have done the math and that is 6 kids. As most of you know, I visited Seirra Leone this past September and it obviously changed my whole life as well as my family. Fran (my husband, of course) has been absolutely amazing through this process of my return and my children as so excited about having 3 more siblings. I have so much to share about the stories of how we have come to this place in our lives and how God has truly revealed Himself, but for now, I would like to focus on introduing you to our newly expanded family. These three children are a sibling group who live in the orphanage, The Covering, which I was so blessed to be a part of opening while I was in Sierra Leone. The oldest boy's name is Sam and he just turned 15 years old last month. He is probably the bravest boy I have ever known. If you were able to follow the blog posts from when I was on the trip, you have met Sam. He is the young boy who ran away from the orpanage he had been in to come find me in a hotel a couple of hours away. Sam has a sister, Betty, who just turned 11 last month as well. Betty is a beautiful little girl who has a smile that lights up any room. The youngest boy's name is Fallah. He is 7 years old and from what I understand he is quite the soccer player. I was not able to spend much time with Betty or Fallah because it took several tries to rescue them from the orpanage before we could get them placed at The Covering. If you are keeping track, you know that this means we will have children with ages 15, 11, 10, 7, 7, and 4. I think that is amazing. I am so excited I can hardly stand it. To be perfectly honest, I had no idea that I would be adopting any children much less 3 children. I went on this trip because my daughter and friends had made 95 blankets to take to this orphanage. I remember saying to God just before I left, "God, I don't want to miss anything. Show me everything you want me to see on this trip. Go ahead and break my heart for what breaks Yours." I would say you should be careful when you ask for such things, but I am so blessed for this journey we are about to go on and I can say for sure that I didn't miss anything because NOW WE SEE...