26 July 2013

Nerdy Marshmallows

Here's the thing, I am a ridiculous fangirl about maybe 5 things.

One: Firefly
Don't tell me if you don't know about Firefly, just watch it and be amazed at the wonder that is Joss Wheadon and the travesty that is Fox's network of cancelling all that is good in this world

And if you don't/didn't like Firefly - again, it's probably best you don't tell me.
"Or I swear by my pretty floral bonnet I will end you."

Two: Hayao Miyazaki films
The beautiful imagery, the phenomenal story telling, the wonderful themes of man working with nature rather than against it and people living in harmony despite our differences...
Princess Mononoke, Totoro, Spirited Away, Howl's Moving Castle, Castle in the Sky, Kiki's Delivery Service, Ponyo, Nausicaa... ALL OF THE STUDIO GHIBLI! Happy...
Three: BBC Planet Earth
I'm a nerd.
And David Attenborough with beautiful scenery...

And Four: Veronica Mars
I'm not even sure that magic need explanation.
Quick quips, obscure references, sexy cameras, computer hacking, danger, justified ends - such is the life of Private Eye, VMars. The most successful Kickstarter in history has lead to the film I am most excited about since... yah, I don't know, ever. I am so excited!!! For the first time in my life? I am excited for January. I will pay the outrageous wallet-rape price to see this film in theaters. I would pay the IMax price.

I think the only thing I would be more excited to see is if they did an OC movie...

(Five: The OC
Guilty pleasure for life...)

20 July 2013

Adoption, You Ask?

Guess what?
I bet you can't guess.
Okay, maybe you can.
Either way, I'm going to tell you.

I've been accepted to be an adoption advocate for Lifesong! Yah, and you thought I was irritating about kiddos before I had the acceptance to be a voice for an adoption agency. You merely had a taste of my obnoxious adoption babble! Now it will hit you in full swing!

So, I completely understand that not everyone has the capacity to adopt, but I believe that it should be something on your heart even if you aren't able to be an adoptive parent. Mark and I aren't able to adopt at this point, but we are hoping to make even the slightest difference by participating in sharing love to kids everywhere through advocacy. Which is just to say: I hope you at least check out these posts, even if they don't tug your heartstrings in one million directions.

(I'm bouncing up and down with excitement right now)

13-6 MM Email

"God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure." Ephesians 1:5 (NLT)

Adoption. One of the most beautiful pieces of the Gospel. An all-powerful and loving Father God chose us, in our sinfulness, to be His sons and daughters. Does it get any better than that? The fact that we, as Christians, can replicate this relationship in our own families to tell the Gospel through our lives is an complete honor and joy.

"WE SAID YES TO ADOPTION" // Andy & Laura's Story

Andy and Laura, adoptive parents of Eli from Ethiopia shared how God provided every step of the way, crushing fears and showing that HE is faithful to finish what He starts.

Part of God's provision came from Lifesong and its partner, Legacy 685 Adoption Fund, helping this family financially with a matching grant and funding support.

Meet Volodya and Lyliya, one of the many Ukrainian families blessed by Adoption without Borders, an initiative that intentionally links like-minded families and churches in the USA with Christian families in Ukraine who are seeking to adopt.  

awob pictures MM

"(Adoption is) the deepest evangelism we can provide, to dedicate our lives to bringing children to the Lord. Our biggest dream is that all of our children would commit their lives to God." --Volodya & Lyliya, adoptive parents of five Ukrainian children 

Because of your support, the families above have been able to give a forever family to a child in need. Are you looking for ways to join the cause? What you could do:

  • Encourage these families by commenting on the blog or on Facebook, offering prayers and words of encouragement

  • Support families through Adoption Grant Fund

    How Could We Not? -  Erik & Erin's adoption story is unique, but beautiful as they stepped in to help a family member in need by providing Austin with a stable and secure family. Read Full Story

    Worth the Wait - Guest blog post from Jeff & Rachel,  adoptive parents of Kate from Ethiopia. Read Full Story

    God Creates Family from Strangers - Sharon, adoptive mom, shares her heart of on an ordinary day four months after bringing Asrate into their forever family.  Read Full Story

    US Churches impacting Ukrainian families! - Three US churches wrap around a Ukrainian family to ensure home repairs where finished soadoption could be complete. Read Full Story

    "I know you guys!" - Read as Robert & Alexis share about meeting their son Jacob for the very first time. Read Full Story

    19 July 2013

    With Every Broken Bone, I Swear I Lived

    My son is a darling.

    A strong willed, vocal, stubborn, decisive, independent darling.

    You're surprised, I know.

    I love Rory. He is truly a blessing and he is so sweet and well-behaved for others. He is kind and likes to share, he loves to talk and laugh, and he is also bold and a risk-taker. But at 1:00am when I am up for the umpteenth time and he pulls my hair or screams at me? I begin to wonder if I am really cut out for this.

    "A sweet and obedient child will enroll and father or mother only in Parenting 101. If you are blessed with a child who tests your patience to the nth degree, you will be enrolled in Parenting 505. Rather than wonder what you might have done wrong in the premortal life to be so deserving, you might consider the more challenging child a blessing and opportunity to become more God-like yourself. With which child will you patience, long-suffering, and other Christlike virtues most likely be tested, developed, and refines? Could it be possible that you need this child as much as this child needs you?"
    Lynn G Robbins

    I have never heard of Lynn G Robbins, but I adore her already. I needed this. I needed the reminder that when people ask "Is he always this sweet?" my response needs to be one of kindness and truth - not begrudging angst about the night before. And the truth is that Rory is a blessed gift regardless of whether he is sweet all the time. He comes with angry sobs of frustration that he isn't big enough and needy nights, fevers that leave him a sweaty mess and dirty diapers, days where all he wants is to be held and many many growing pains. But I have this opportunity to experience a different kind of growing pain, a maturing that only comes with a child who tests you. And damn, does it ache.

    Rory's real gift to me is not just his sweet smile or his laugh. It isn't the waving or "mama." It isn't the ability to watch him grow or know that I created him. It is the patience that comes at 3:00am when all I really want to do is duct tape him to the wall. It is the love that comes when he's screaming at me about I have no idea what. It is the laughter even though I haven't had a shower in three days. It is the appreciation of alone time with my husband.

    I don't know what my life would be without Rory - whether I would "have more fun" or stay up later or if I would already be traveling or have more money or more energy or what. But I do know, my life is one million times better because I have him. I am one million times better. And I wouldn't trade all my exhaustion or all of my joy for my life before.

    Dinosaur AND Ninja

    09 July 2013

    Commissioned And Home Again

    "And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”

    So, we were in Detroit. It was... an experience. I don't want to tell you it was hard and whine about how difficult the Dullanty Tribe has it - but, bro? It was hard. We got into Detroit after an entire day on airplanes at 1am. Then the well rested baby wanted to play until 3am. Then he woke up and ate for forty-five freaking minutes at 6am and as I was laying his sweet head back down on the bed at 6:45, Marko's alarm went off because the first thing for the weekend began at 7am. I rolled over and went to sleep then woke up two hours later to a cappuccino and a plate of fruit. My husband wins all awards. All of them, ever.

    There are way too many details to tell you about, but the big thing was: we were commissioned!

    Yes, that is a sleeping baby. Rory slept through the entire service. I told you - it was a hard weekend. We were (are) exhausted. But being commissioned? Was wonderful. And serving Communion? Was wonderful. Sometimes the great things are the hardest, you know?

    Be amazed.

    Just kidding, but seriously it is amazing. Not so much to watch, I'm sure, but to live? Amazing is the word. I feel so blessed and overwhelmed. It was great to catch up with those people we fell so in love with in Chicago two weeks earlier and it was just... just... it was awesome. Plus - my hubby is a stunner in a suit.

    Now we are home and I think it might be harder than an exhaustive weekend (and then disastrous flight home) in Detroit. Our tatertot isn't sleeping and is really struggling with growing/teething/not being around these people who were intensely present over the month of June. Sometimes I bring up pictures of other METE participants and Rory waves and coos at the computer... this makes me so happy and so heartbroken all at once. I'm glad Skype is a thing.

    We are in the process of writing our initial support letter, which I will probably also post online for all you techie people, but it is difficult. It is also hard to have been surrounded by supportive, globally minded people so consistently and now be back in the fray of American normalcy. This is not to say that everyone who lives here is small-minded or not on mission or somehow less than we are, so don't misunderstand.

    I remember feeling like such an alien for wanting to travel and for feeling called internationally; and not for vacation. I kept asking people to come with me and they kept having excuses (not illegitimate ones) until I finally left on my own. It was big and different and scary - but all of the sudden, for the first time ever, I was surrounded by people who also had a deep love of travel and international awareness and cultures outside of their own. They were confused why I had waited so long, when those I had grown up with had been confused as to why I went at all. It was blessed. And that was what being around Covenant World Mission and staff was like. They immediately understood our call to international mission. I miss that.

    It is all a process. Beautiful, difficult, and still happening.