Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Faith

Dear Friends & Family,                                                                        July 2011

In early 2010, we found ourselves with two teenage children and Chad and I often daydreamed of downsizing to a small lakeside bungalow, as the empty nest would soon find us. Proverbs 16:9 says, “In a heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines His steps.”  Oh did God have different plans in store for our family as He orchestrated our paths to cross with a six-year-old boy, named Caden that caused us to open our hearts, our arms, and our home. We would like to share our story with you; would you join us in this journey?

Caden’s kindergarten teacher, Jenni Cudd, brought the needs of his family to the attention of our Adult Sunday School class. We, along with many others, helped to provide his family with an oven, mattresses, a/c, refrigerator, toys, and other household goods as well as provided transportation to and from church, job searching, and grocery shopping.

Due to some issues, Caden first came to live with us for two weeks in May/June of 2010, and then he was able to return home. However, in October of 2010, Caden’s mother asked if he could live with us for an undetermined amount of time so that he would not enter the foster care system and live with someone he did not know. After praying, we felt that God was also asking us to take this little boy into our home for however long He saw fit. We have often said that we stepped IN when God told us to, and we wouldn’t step OUT until He told us to. Well, God has not told us to step out, instead He has told us to step UP!

We are not able to disclose all the details because of the ongoing case, but there have been many ups, downs, bumps, and turns in this case since Caden came to live with us 9 months ago. We cannot begin to explain the frustrations and joys, the breakthroughs and setbacks, not to mention the emotional toll we have all been through. The case has been the exhausting part, but time with Caden, oh it has been beautiful from day 1. Within a week Caden said, “I want to live here forever!” and after he slept til 10am the first Saturday he was here, we knew he would fit right in, ha!


 Some of the most heart-warming times have been:
  • In October, Colton coming out of his room with Bible in hand (after praying about the decision) and reading James 1:27 to us
  • Seeing our High School Senior voluntarily share her room with a seven year old boy
  • Watching Kelsey paint Caden’s face green to become the Toy Soldier from Toy Story for trick-o-treating
  • Thanking God for our extra “little turkey” blessing in November
  • In December, lighting weekly advent candles & devotions and riding the Polar Express in our matching family pajamas
  • A “few” toys at Christmas where Caden said, “This is the BEST day of my life!”
  • Kelsey freely giving up her room to Caden in January
  • Painting Caden’s new room “Faith Blue” (there is another beautiful story here)
  • Witnessing the joy on Caden’s face the first time he ever touched snow
  • Watching Caden scream in excitement and simultaneously raise his hands in enthusiasm at his first basketball game
  • Watching through the front window as Colton taught Caden how to shoot a basket
  • Teaching Caden to read, the most memorable book has been “Flap Your Wings” by P.D. Eastman, (yes, I cried)  "That's not OUR egg," said Mrs. Bird. "But it is an egg & it's in our nest," said Mr. Bird. "If an egg is in your nest, you sit on it & keep it warm, it doesn't matter whose egg it is"
  • Tucking him in bed over 270 times now and praying each night
  • Listening beside his bed in February as he prayed to ask Jesus into his heart and saying afterwards,“My heart feels different, like God is touching it”
  • Caden requesting Mr. Jason (Hoffman), youth pastor, to baptize him, because "he rides bikes with me"
  • Him diligently praying for his AIM leader, Mr. Bixler, and the Jinkins’ in Africa each night for 2 weeks
  • Seeing him in the kitchen baking cupcakes with Kelsey
  • His first grade teacher, Mrs. McNew, telling us he writes Caden Greene on his papers
  • Seeing Chad put the ball in the pitching machine to Caden & him hitting it…at his very first baseball game in April
  • In May, his teacher telling us he asked to tell his class we were adopting him & smiling the entire time
  • Watching he & his friend Jackson Howell take swimming lessons together
  • Overhearing someone ask him, “Who do you belong to?” and his reply, “I belong to Tam Tam & Chad Greene”
  • Colton teaching him to Slip & Slide
  • Chad crafting a special cake shaped like Lightening McQueen to celebrate his 8th birthday in June
  • Him winning a Green ring in the toy machine and saying, “This is a great ring, because I AM a Greene”
  • Caden conducting family Popsicle eating contests (Chad won)
  • “Tam Tam, I know you’re my mama” –Caden 7/12/11
As you can see, we are a family, the 5 of us.
“And whoever welcomes one child like this, in My name, welcomes Me.” –Matthew 18:5

Caden’s biological mother and maternal grandparents continue to believe that Caden is in the best possible place, and support our adoption efforts. The future is unknown at this point in the journey, as I have said; there continue to be many twists and turns traveling this uncharted rugged terrain. However, God has been faithful to protect Caden and move us forward to adoption. We obviously seek God's will and strongly feel it is for Caden to be our son through adoption.

One of the largest hurdles that almost all adoptive families face is the financial costs involved in legal and adoption fees. We find ourselves in that stage now as we were told about a month ago that it was time for us to seek legal representation at this point of the process. Within the last month, we have earnestly prayed that God would help us shave our finances. We are thankful that in one month’s time we were able decrease our monthly expenses by trading a vehicle and selling our family travel trailer. Unfortunately, with the huge cost of adoption and legal fees, much more is needed. There are a wide range of adoption types and circumstances that make each adoption unique. Since we are not in foster care, and since there is an ongoing case with frequent court dates which require us to have representation, the actual amount needed is unknown, but estimated. We have not once doubted that God will provide as Jehovah Jireh, but honestly when looking at the amount of money needed, it is overwhelming. Many people have asked how they could help us, and we began asking the Lord to give us some creative ideas to break down the funds needed into an attainable format. Recently we were listening to Ayeisha Wood’s song, “The Greatest Artist” and these lyrics inspired us:

Take my life 
Paint it right 
On your canvas display the beauty of your light 
’Cause I’m your tapestry
And your love covers me 
You’re the greatest artist there will ever be

’Twas your blood that was shed 
Crimson red 
In an effort to save us all 
So until this painting is done 
Draw me under the Son 
Cause it’s your sweet name that I’ll call
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From this song, God impressed us to buy a 30” x 40” blank canvas that we divided into 1,200 one-inch squares. Each of the one-inch squares is waiting to be filled with a different shade of blue to make a beautiful “Faith Blue” mosaic painting. You can donate towards our legal and adoption fees for Caden, and for every $10 given, 1 square inch of this canvas will be painted. We want to hang this Canvas of Faith in our home to remind us of the faithfulness of God and the love and support of our family and friends. Your name, family name, or business will be written on the back of the completed canvas. We are in need of attaining an adoption attorney within the next few weeks, so will you please pray about helping us complete this Canvas of Faith? If you are not able to help financially, know that we love you still and ask that you join us in praying God’s will for Caden’s future.


By Faith,

Chad & Tammy Greene

“Now Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” -Hebrews 11:1


"Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.” -Corrie Ten Boom


3 ways to help us with the legal and adoption fees for Caden:

1) Mail to: Chad & Tammy Greene 127 Gifford Rusk, Texas 75785
2) TX National Bank, Rusk, TX “Canvas of Faith” account
3) Visit our blog at http://byfaithhebrews11.blogspot.com/ and donate using your: PayPal, MC, Visa or Checking Account

**We are not a 501(c)(3) organization, so we are not able to provide tax-deductible donations**

7 comments:

  1. Thank you for being obedient every step of the way through this journey. God has a plan for Caden, and that plan certainly involves your family.
    I know this has been hard, scary, and even frustrating at times, but I know none of that matters. Caden matters.
    We love you, Greene family. Thank you for allowing God to use you in the life of this precious little boy.

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  2. Matt 17:20 if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you. "

    This verse reminds me of the monumental faith we must all have in our God. The Greene family will "move this mountain" with their enormous faith and unselfish love for this precious little angel from God.

    We will gladly, with open arms,help you on this journey.

    We love yall so much,

    Charlie, Shonda, Lauren, and Blake Williams

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  3. Melonie & Shonda, Thank you both for your heartfelt comments...they both really touched me and made me CRY (imagine that!!!) Thank you both for your friendship, prayers, and support. I love you friends! What a great God we serve!!! <3 <3 <3 He is FAITHful!!!!

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  4. Tammy, Thank you for sharing your walk of faith with this precious child. I love seeing God's plans become our plans even when we do not understand...He is an amazing God...Kenneth and I will be taking a small part of this walk with you....Love So Amazing So Divine....
    loving all of you
    loeta and kenneth martin

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  5. Tammy, this is wonderful to hear. Adoption is one of the most godly things a family can do.

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  6. Simply Amazing! I thank God for families like you, always willing to show His love.

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  7. Crystal Ward &amp; FamilyJuly 22, 2011 at 10:54 AM

    Your family is truly an inspiration to others. We are honored to help be a part of your journey! We love you!

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