Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Billy's First Time To Vote~November 6, 2012

Getting registered to vote for the first time.

Here is Billy with his completed ballot.
And posing outside with his "I Voted" sticker on his vest.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Volcanos & Halloween~October 31, 2012

Oops!  I forgot to make an entry about my hoodlums on Halloween.  I already posted pictures of Caleb, Steven and James in their costumes a few days ago.  Billy dressed up as a Boise State Bronco fan, Scheri as a Hansen Huskey basketball player, and Teresa was a rock band member.  I was stationed down at the church for the annual Trunk or Treat so it was already dark when I saw the older girls so their pictures didn't turn out.  But at least I can include Princess Abby and Boise Bronco Billy.  Shhhhh!  Don't tell!  We never did get around to carving pumpkins this year--and so far none of my kids have complained about it.

Princess Abby and The Great Pumpkin

Caleb went through the Trunk or Treat line of cars about 5 times I think before actually going door to door with Scheri.


Also on Sunday evening October 27, Abby and I baked chocolate cakes to use as the base for her school volcano project.  She and I practiced mixing the baking soda and vinegar to watch the chemical reaction.  We ended up having to make a paper cone top on our volcano because the BBQ sauce bottle we were using for the funnel was too tall for our cake.

The little bottle is holding the 1/4 cup of vinegar to be added during class time.

Orphan Sunday in Retrospect~Nov 5, 2012

Report on Orphan Sunday: 

We had an amazingly good seminar on Saturday using the "If You Were Mine" DVD's. It was attended by 4 family units actually interested in learning more about adoption. If you are from a big church or big city maybe "4" sounds small but for us it is HUGELY exciting. These people blessed me enormously just by attending. I think we all left with full tummies, crammed hea
ds, tired bum-bums and a desire to investigate the adoption option further. Interestingly enough in this relatively small group, there were folks interested in foster care adoption, domestic adoption, as well as international adoption! One lady left promising to look at the Reece's Rainbow site--especially interested in babies with Down syndrome.

During Sunday worship we showed the informational video regarding the "If You Were Mine" series! I had set up a big table in the foyer with rice/prayer folders for Orphan's table; the brochure "Ten Things Every Christian Can Do for the Orphan;" Christmas catalogs from World Vision and Samaritan's Purse; Prayer Guide: "40 Days of Prayer;" a few foster care DVD's from last year's event. Finally, I had made a poster of the ways the Assemblies of God is officially involved in orphan care and printed off 25 copies of the survey put out from the Assemblies of God regarding foster care (for people who don't have internet access.) I got all the rice handed out, as well as a few catalogs and brochures. But I think I was only able to give out ONE paper copy of the foster care survey (though I did hand out a few copies of the on-line link)--and that was to my Daddy. No, wait, I did give out one other copy to the lady who told me she didn't think people should be going to other countries to adopt but should adopt the children right here in the States. I told her, "Then THIS is for you--it is talking about foster care of our kids right here in the States."

So I guess the bottom line is: we've come a long way but we still have a long ways to go.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Preparing Our Hearts for Orphan Sunday~Oct 30, 2012

I'm copying a post from another supporter of Orphan Sunday:

We serve a mighty God who IS able to move mountains, but sometimes He is simply just trying to help us see something from a different perspective. Orphan Sunday is not about one church, one person, or one objective. Orphan Sunday is the Church (collectively as God intended) coming together on ONE DAY with ONE PURPOSE using ONE VOICE. Let us begin this week raising ONE VOICE of prayer to Him on Monday, October 29. Below is a Prayer & Fasting Guide for the week leading up to Orphan Sunday. We ask you to join with us in praying for Judea (your town), Samaria (the US) and the uttermost parts of the world.

Prayer & Fasting Guide
Monday, October 29 (Judea: your town)
Today, pray for local foster and adoptive folks who are on the front lines of orphan care to be encouraged, supported by the local church, and that God may give them the strength to continue. This includes, but is not limited to: foster and adoptive parents, those who work within the foster care system, those who facilitate foster care or adoptive services, case workers, social workers, psychologists and therapists. These folks are on the front lines of orphan care and often feel alone or bound by a system.

Tuesday, October 30 (Judea: your town)
Today, pray for your pastor, your church leadership, and the Church as a whole to feel the Lord's heart for the orphans as seen in Psalm 68:5-6 (below) and for Him to raise up workers for the harvest from your church and community to go to the "fields of the fatherless."
"A Father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families..."
~Psalm 68:5-6
"Give up your wicked ways. Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the orphan. Fight for the rights of widows."
~Isaiah 1:16-17

Wednesday, October 31 (Samaria: The U.S.)
Today, pray for state and federal policy makers, judges, attorneys, penitentiary and correction officers and workers, and national organizations committed to helping orphans. Ask the Lord to give them wisdom as they make decisions directly affecting children, particularly the orphan.

Thursday, November 1 (Samaria: The U.S.)
Today, pray that God would move mightily within the Church across the United States and give the Church a positive voice across America as it reaches out to homeless children and youth, victims of child trafficking, foster care, parents struggling to care for and raise their children, birth parents, and children trapped in an abusive situation.

Friday, November 2 (The Uttermost Parts of the World)
Today, ask the Lord help parents struggling to care for their children due to financial, physical, medical, stress or social stigma due to a birth defect. Ask the Lord to protect children and their parents from kidnapping, child trafficking, hunger, disease and war.

Saturday, November 3 (The Uttermost Parts of the World) Fasting Day: If you are able to fast (give up food for the day), then fast and pray. If you are unable to fast, consider giving up one meal, a favorite item, TV, Facebook or your phone.
Today, ask God that of the 2 billion Christians in the world, 7% would show hope to a single orphan, looking after the child in their distress. Ask the Lord to convict the church around the world that if we did this, there would effectively be no more orphans. Ask the Lord to show each of His followers that we can each do something. Within your prayers, choose a country or countries to pray specifically over and pray for nationals within that country to rise up and be willing to care for orphans.

Sunday, November 4 (ORPHAN SUNDAY!)
Today, pray for Orphan Sunday events around the world to go smoothly. Pray for the Lord to speak through pastors and speakers around the world. Pray for the Spirit to convict, encourage, challenge and confirm families, pastors and orphan care workers all over the world.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Article from the Local News~October 29, 2012

Extra-Special Family Has Plenty Of Room

By Jay Michaels

Hansen, Idaho (KMVT-TV) If you've never had a child before, it's a big job figuring out how to care for your kid, even if they don't have any special needs.

At first, Kevin and Joy McClain from Hansen were foster parents. Then they realized they wanted to adopt a little boy they were taking care of named Billy. But that was just the first of their adventures in adoption, because so far they've adopted seven kids with special needs.

Adoptive Parent Joy McClain says, “The autistic spectrum disorder, some attention deficit, some cerebral palsy, and our youngest two have Down syndrome.”

The two youngest kids are a pair of eight year old boys from Ukraine named Stephen and Caleb. The rest of the McClain clan includes Billy, who's now 18 years old, Teresa, James, Scheri, Caleb, and Stephen. Abby is eleven years old, and is the latest addition from Bulgaria.

Billy McClain says, “We go to church, learn about God, read the Bible, and sing, listen to the pastor.”

Joy McClain says she and her husband Kevin didn't really choose Billy because he had special needs. She says he was just their kid, and the special needs came along with him. But this family of nine has plenty of room for all these personalities, which seem to fit together pretty well.

Scheri McClain, 16, says, “We have our ups and downs. But together as a family we seem to make things work.”

A free informational workshop on adoption called “If You Were Mine” will be held this Saturday, November 3rd beginning at 8:30 a.m. That will be held at the Hansen Assembly of God Church, 319 Second Avenue East in Hansen.


Saturday, October 27, 2012

Our Children~October 27, 2012

Our family had the honor of being interviewed today by the local KMVT TV station on the subject of adoption.  How cool is that!  While the charming reporter, Jay Michaels, had our children all lined up on the couch in the order they joined our family, I grabbed a few snapshots for myself.

Gotcha:  Billy, March 1996; Teresa, July 1996; James, April 2000; Scheri, January 2002; Caleb, February 2008; Steven, July 2009; Abby, July 2011

The one above is my favorite--when Jay finally got all the kids smiling AND looking at him :)

James' Science Experiment~October 24, 2012

We are using Alpha-Omega's Monarch program this year for James who is a freshman.  We were really struggling with Science until we purchased a science kit that contains most of the "stuff" that he needs for his projects.  James seems to be enjoying these lessons -- and I know I am not dreading Science experiments so much myself.