Hello everyone! This is Valerie! :-) I would love to share with you all a little bit about a dream of mine that I believe the Lord is cultivating in my heart.
Since Febraury 2009, when our family began our adoption journey, my love for orphans has grown so very much. I feel that God is calling me to help them in their distress. James 1:27 says, "Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world."
When the Lord saw fit to help us find favor in the eyes of the state, and we finally got our foster-care license in October of 2009, we were very anxious to get a child to love and eventually be able to adopt! But, then the real wait began! It was taking a lot longer than we ever expected, and then we received the news that the adoption ministry caseworker we had been working with quit there to go work for the state. We began to wonder whether this truly was the way God was going to bring another child into our arms.
Mommy and I started talking about other adoption possibilites, but knew that the cost of domestic or overseas adoptions was around $30,000! How would we ever afford that? One day, while we were out on a walk, we started talking about our other passion of breeding quality Labrador Retrievers. Perhaps the Lord would bless a little side breeding business for the purpose of raising adoption funds. After getting Daddy's approval, I began a search for some older female labs. And the Lord did bless! We were able to "adopt" Missy and Chloe right away, around May 2010. Then, shortly thereafter, we miraculously found the perfect stud dog for Missy, and she had her first litter with us (of nine puppies) on August 10th, 2010.
While we were approaching the time when the puppies were ready to go their new homes, we got the call about little Stanley! We were so excited and blessed beyond measure that Stanley was placed with us. God had him picked out all long to be our precious little baby!
After this, I started to wonder what should become of our recently started fundraiser for adoption. By that time, I was more aware of the innumerable amount of homeless, helpless, fatherless orphans that so desperately need someone to love them. I started thinking about how I could make a difference in the lives of an orphan/orphans by continuing on my own to raise funds for adoption. My ultimate dream one day, should it please the Lord, would be to adopt a little orphan girl from China . . . . or anywhere. :) But, if that ends up not being God's plan for me, any of the proceeds from my dog breeding will go to help orphans in some way. These children are God's precious children and He wants us to be His hands and feet and reach out to them. I have been reading MANY books on adoption and God's heart for "the least of these." Here are some verses that I have memorized recently that show God's loving heart for the needy.
"Then the king will say to those on His right, Come you who are blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink: I was a stranger and you invited me in; naked, and you clothed me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to me. Then the righteous will Him, Lord, when did we see you hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? And when did we see you a stranger, and invite you in, or naked, and clothe you? When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to you? The King will answer and say to them, Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of mine, even the least of them, you did it to me."
"A father of the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in His holy habitation. He sets the solitary in families, he brings out those who are bound into prosperity."
"He administers justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the stranger, giving him food and clothing."
Deuteronomy 24: 17-22
" You shall not pervert the justice due an alien of an orphan, nor take a widows garmet in pledge. But, you shall remember that you were a slave in Egypt and that the Lord your God redeemed you from there; therefore I am commanding you to do this thing. When you reap your harvest in your field and have forgotten a sheaf in the field, you shall not go back and get it, it shall be for the alien, for the orphan and for the widow, in order that the Lord you God may bless you in all the work of your hands. When you beat your olive tree, you shall not go over the boughs again, it shall be for the alien, for the orphan and for the widow. When you gather the grapes of your vineyard, you shall not go over it again ; it shall be for the alien, for the orphan and for the widow. You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt ; therefore I am commanding you to do this thing."
Can you see through these verses (there are lots more:) how much God cares about the needy? Anyway, sorry for the LONG post. :) All this to say, that is where my heart is right now, and I am so grateful to my parents for allowing me to pursue this dream that God has given me!
I am very thankful that 5 of the 9 puppies from Chloe's litter of puppies are already pre-sold. If you would like to see more adorable pictures of the puppies you can visit my website at: http://www.purejoy.web.officelive.com/. I am constantly updating it with new pictures . . . and videos! (Daddy just taught me how to post videos on my website . . . EXCITING!)
Thanks so much for following along with me on this journey!
I love you all,
P.S. The name "Pure Joy" came to Mommy and I in thinking of both the James 1:27 verse "Pure . . .religion . . ." and also the delight to our family of having a new bundle of "joy" to love! To others, it might mean that a new lab puppy would be "pure joy" . . . and that works for us too :- )