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Born to be…more than an orphan. Born to Thrive

So…yesterday I took the kids to the Fernbank museum in Hotlanta. It was “homeschool day” at Fernbank–so me and the other plaid jumper and bun wearers united to teach our kids about wildlife rescue and such. Parker and Laney even had the joy of dissecting owl pellets to discover what their diets consist of. NICE. We, homeschoolers, get it done…you know your jealous.

I expected the day to be a fun day connecting. I’ll say I was so thankful to have this opportunity as classes literally RACED behind us as we were reading EVERY sign. As one class passed, a teacher got on to their kids saying, “Alright guys–keep going…those kids are actually trying to learn something.” I tried not to laugh because I’m a former public school teacher. Now you KNOW I don’t have anything against my old job–but you do have to maintain order and discipline with large classes–and some times that means keeping them all in straight lines, keeping the line movin’ and I was just so thankful yesterday to have the opportunity to literally read every description and dig deeper just teaching my little ones. I mean…it definitely makes for a learning field trip when you can add the learning to it! (By the way–we ARE considering putting the older kiddos in a Christian classical school NEXT year where they would go half day and the classes are 8-10 kids for elementary. Homeschool is NOT for everyone…but I do have ANOTHER post on ANOTHER day to share what homeschool has taught me and how it has made me aware of my educational role as a mom NO MATTER what type of learning environment my kids are in…I actually used to think it was the SCHOOL’S job to teach my kids. Don’t stone me people–I didn’t know it was my beautiful privilege to be the one challenging my children and taking them to the next level–I unknowingly was putting their education in the hands of others without being the main role and just allowing the school to play their support role…it was totally backwards and my OLDEST is just in 1st grade so this school stuff is still new to me!!!) I really don’t think this mom was made for JUST homeschooling–but I do believe the Lord called me to this to OPEN MY EYES and show me how to better lead and guide my children! SO THANKFUL! THIS is another post for another day–one that will ENCOURAGE YOU and CHALLENGE you whether your kids are in private, public, home school or whatever. EVERY child has a different need where they will THRIVE–but we can’t give our precious gifts away and trust just anyone to lead and educate them.

Okay…so another post for another day!

While we DID learn yesterday–and while I did almost gag as they handed me their zip-lock bags full of little animal parts they were able to dissect in owl dung, one thing I did NOT expect to do at the museum was CRY. I was overcome with God’s creation…and His perfect plan…and His heart for FAMILY.

We bought IMAX tickets to see a movie about wildlife rescue called “Born to be Wild” narrated by Morgan Freeman. This documentary is about two women called to rescue orphaned elephants and orangutans in the Kenyan savannah. Dame Daphne Sheldrick and Dr. Birute Galdikas have dedicated their entire lives…giving up everything to save these orphaned animals after seeing firsthand that they would die without a mother’s love. They rescue them, rehabilitate them and release them to thrive on their own in this world…

What was SO fascinating was to watch the behavior of these deserted animals when they were found–to watch how they changed when they began to connect with their human caregivers and to see them begin to thrive…and then finally to be released to live to their potential. I sat there watching these animals MOURN at night–and tears rolled down my cheek at how beautiful God’s creation is. He beautiful created not only HIS PEOPLE to have family…but for these creatures to experience family too.

One of the most phenomenal things in the entire film was watching what happens when the elephants were finally released. Ex-orphans–some that were released even 30 years ago–ALL ran in a herd to the truck releasing the animal. Watching it from sky view–I was at first afraid they were going to attack. But what happened next–was beautiful. The ex-orphans stood awaiting to welcome the new elephant now old enough to go into their family. They kissed him…they soothed him…they watched after him.

And Freeman’s voice came over this beautiful scene…”If we allow the future of orphans to die…part of ourselves will die with them.”

“YESSS!!!” my heart cried!!!!!! And sitting there I knew that our family is NOT done. The Lord even used the story of elephant and orangutan orphans and how they desperately need family to thrive to bring more passion to my heart.

Because God is real…because this life is NOT about me…or 2.5 kids, a vacation and a white picket fence…because orphans need families to really thrive…then I can’t live my life for just me–what is easy for me. Not everyone will or can adopt–but I do think that EVERYONE can do something for the sake of the orphans.

I picked up my phone quietly…as I needed to text my husband to remind him there’s a little girl or two that I can’t wait to bring home one day. I am thankful that this is our life’s calling. I will fight for wellness and health to live the life the Lord has created for me to live. The enemy is going to try and discourage me and get in the way…but this is one mom you really don’t want to get in the way of when she’s on a mission. By the way–the Lord needs a little shout out because for over a week I have felt 100% back to myself. No doctor, no supplements, no anything but the Lord on that one.

I can’t wait to see what our lives look like 5, 10, 20 years from now. Aren’t you EXCITED to see what the Lord can and will do through your life as you put on the breaks and wait on Him. And putting on the breaks for what you think it should like…might just be the most exciting and wildest ride you ever imagined!

Kim - March 6, 2012 - 11:39 am

Andrea!! This post R.O.C.K.S! I love your heart, and soooo needed this today. “Because God is real…because this life is NOT about me…or 2.5 kids, a vacation and a white picket fence…because orphans need families to really thrive…then I can’t live my life for just me–what is easy for me. Not everyone will or can adopt–but I do think that EVERYONE can do something for the sake of the orphans.” LOVE, LOVE, LOVE IT!

Megan - March 6, 2012 - 12:07 pm

Yes I am excited to see what the Lord is doing- in my life, in yours, in countless others! Today I am in awe of HIM 🙂 So glad you had a great fieldtrip and heard that little nudge from Him about His plans for adopting more kids. Keep believing that you’ll be healed and praising Him through it- you’re an example to us all, Andrea.

P.S. I went to a Classical Christian School (after being homeschooled for 6 years first). I’m no genius but it was a great education.

Rory - March 6, 2012 - 12:20 pm

This news is SUCH an answer to prayer. Shouts of joy, shouts of victory are in the tents of the righteous…the Lord’s right hand has done valiant things the Lord’s right hand is exalted…makes me sing and shout for JOY that your body is manifesting in the physical the healing we’ve been contending for in the supernatural. The healer is in the house!:)
Love it.

Rebecca - March 6, 2012 - 4:51 pm

I just love God….how He speaks and how He works. So glad He spoke to you today, and that He has given you such a heart for orphans.

We are on similar first year of homeschooling paths. As my daughter and I walked through Tells last week, I had the same experience. We were asking it all in, reading signs and taking our time. As a former teacher myself, couldn’t help but notice what the big groups were not learning. So glad to be blessed with the opportunity to teach my girls.

Fern bank is on our field trip let as well. Would love to have a way to find out when homeschool days are at various locations.

Amber - March 7, 2012 - 12:47 am

Thank you for this! I too saw this awhile back ago and I too cried! I love what you wrote about it. Also excited to hear that you are feeling better.