Thursday, August 28, 2008

ORPHAN'S TICKET HOME GALA! AND -OUR CHALLENGE TO YOU!



My dear friend, Cristie Martine, is a Texas Associate for our adoption agency: America World Adoption Association. She is heading up a HUGE project - a Gala on behalf of AWAA to raise money for their Orphan's Ticket Home Campaign. You can go to www.orphanstickethome.org to read about all the details or you can read further here.

Orphan's Ticket Home Gala
Date: Friday, November 21st, 2008
Time: 6:30 PM until 9:00 PM
Location: Community Bible Church
Youth Sanctuary, 2477 N. Loop 1604 E., San Antonio, TX 78232 (Directions)

Guest Speakers:
Tom Davis, President & Founder of Children's Hope Chest & Author of Fields of the Fatherless & Red Letters. Brian Luwis, President, CEO & Founder of America World Adoption.

Music: Billy and I will be leading worship for this Gala. Our entire band will be with us and we are excited to come together in San Antonio for this event. It is an honor to participate in the Gala in this capacity. We have a love for orphans (we have one adopted daughter from China and one on the way from Ethiopia) and for America World (who has serviced and is servicing us with our adoptions). We believe in their vision and know that God will provide for the four initiatives they dream of fulfilling.


The funds raised at the San Antonio Orphans Ticket Home Gala will go towards 4 initiatives:

1. Identification for orphans in China and El Salvador
2. Opening AWAA programs in Bolivia, Brazil, India, Rwanda and Vietnam
3. AWAA Transitional Homes in Ethiopia
4. Older Children's cultural exchange programs in Russia and Ukraine

So - here's how you can participate:

1. Purchase a ticket and attend the Gala. Tickets will cost $40 per person or whole tables can be bought starting at $500.00. Tables seat 8 adults. Go to www.orphanstickethome.org to purchase your tickets online.

2. The tables "start" at $500 because Businesses or individuals also have the opportunity to purchase the tables in different "tiers". The Bronze package is the $500 table, Gold package (1500$), Silver Package (2500$) or Platinum ($5,000 or more).

3. As well, for a business that cannot come, is not local to the area and would like to be a corporate sponsor: Businesses or individuals can purchase a "Flying for the Cause" ticket in the same levels and will be highlighted at the event as well. Businesses do not actually have to be at the event to purchase a table to support the cause and be highlighted! Of course, we'd love them to join us as well! This too can be purchased at: www.orphanstickethome.org - just click HERE.

4. Donate items for the Gala's Silent Auction. All donors will be recognized during the evening's event. We are looking for all sorts of items and services for the auction. Rounds of golf, spa packages, free hotel stays, paintings or other artwork, jewelry, hunting and other out-door equipment and services, movie tickets, themed baskets, antiques, homemade quilts or other quality crafts, lighting fixtures, signed sports paraphernalia, anything of value that you think will sell at a classy Gala event. All donations are tax deductible. Just let me know if you have something you would like to donate and I'll work with you on getting the details together.

5. Spread the word - on YOUR blog, facebook, myspace, church newsletters, small groups, ANY AND ALL of your circles of influence. Feel free to even cut and paste from this post the info you need.

Now - This Gala is huge! Not necessarily in physical size - although we are asking God to surprise us and help us sell out! This Gala and effort is huge because it is for the orphans of the world and there is much spiritual warfare that wars against setting orphans free from the bondages of rejection, hopelessness, hunger, poverty, loneliness. This Gala and the people heading it up need your prayers - as well as America World itself.

Secondly, and on a personal note - I have a challenge to make for all of you who are close family and friends and for any of you who have been impacted by Libby's adoption story or the unfinished adoption story of Lulu. If indeed, Libby or Lulu's story has affected your life in a positive way - you are the one I am speaking to.

I am asking that you consider donating items or purchasing a ticket or donating to "fly for the cause" (see above). You see, the Gala takes place just a few days before Thanksgiving. Our challenge to you is to donate in some way to this Gala as a way to express Thanksgiving to God for all you have. What better way to worship the Lord who has given us life abundant than by putting our gifts to an effort that will give an orphan that same kind of life!

Furthermore, the Gala takes place just 2 days before Libby's 3rd. birthday. As parents, Billy and I believe that one of our roles in Libby's life is to show her how to store up treasure in heaven where rust can not destroy rather than storing up treasure for herself. At Libby's current 2 1/2 years she has more toys than she could possibly need. We are going to use the next several months to teach her the difference between eternal gifts and earthly gifts. This year, we are asking our close friends and family - anyone who would normally give a gift for Libby's birthday - to instead give in some capacity to this Gala so that we can help bring one orphan home in Libby's name - or better yet - in the name of Jesus. Instead of spending money on a birthday party and instead of receiving earthly gifts - we are as a family celebrating Libby's life by making it possible for another orphan's life to be filled with hope.

If you desire to give to the Gala as an expression of Thanksgiving or as a gift in place of Libby's traditional birthday gift you can do so in several ways.
1. You can go online to www.orphanstickethome.org to purchase a ticket or "fly for a cause".
2. You can contact us at: info@billyfoote.com or call us at: 210.481.6776 to work out details for a donation to the Silent Auction.
3. Or - specifically if you are giving in Libby's name so we can purchase a table at the Gala - you can mail us a check made out to: Libby Foote. We will collect all the money given and on Oct. 1 we will put the money towards purchasing a table for the Gala. ALL the money is going to AWAA for their 4 initiatives. Our mailing address is: 3531 Hilldale Point, San Antonio, TX 78261.

The reason we are posting this challenge so soon before Thanksgiving and Libby's birthday is because ticket sales for this Gala have already begun and we don't want to miss out on this opportunity. On Libby's birthday we will post again to announce a BIG THANK YOU for all who donated and we'll let you know the total amount given in her name.

Two final thoughts I don't want to forget to mention. While Billy and I are leading worship and our band guys are being paid - Billy and I are leading for free. I do not share that for our own glory in ANY WAY - I only share so that those who think about giving don't think that we're asking you to give so we can get paid. That is not the case AT ALL! All the money given in Libby's name will go 100% directly towards AWAA's four initiatives.

And lastly, one of the initiatives is extremely special to us. The money used to build new transitional homes in Ethiopia is dear to our hearts as we are praying daily for our little girl who will live in one of those homes prior to our travel to receive her. All the orphans in Ethiopia have such difficult lives before their adoption. The transitional homes are where the orphans live once they have been chosen for an AWAA family and until that family can travel to pick him/her up. In the transitional home the orphans hear the Word of God, they hear music, they are prayed over and they are cared for with such precious delight. It is their preparation for a new life and it is so special to our hearts.

Thank you for taking the time to read this LONG post and may the Lord challenge your heart to give to the cause of orphans - whether to this Gala or in someone else's name or to another agency - however God works that out in your heart.

Love,
The Footes




Sunday, August 24, 2008

Survey says....

Many thanks to all who have given their input. I have considered each and every one. For those who suggested that we wait until we see our baby girl- oh, how I wish I were that patient! hee hee! For now - yes, that means it could change again - I think we have decided to incorporate all the names by naming her:

Aria-Lu Hope Foote

and we will call her

"Lulu"

This way we can keep all the name meanings that I love and desire for her while calling her the name Billy wants to give her AND if Lulu is just too "Hollywood weird" for her when she grows up she can go back to the plethora of other names we have given her! LOL!

I have posted a song that has been ringing in my head all week. I love this song: "He Knows My Name"! It is so fitting for my sweet Lulu.

I want to also share some sad news. An AWAA family who was referred an Ethiopian baby in recent months was informed last week that their baby died of pneumonia before the family could travel to Ethiopia to get her. This song is a dedication to her as well. She is with her Maker now. He never left her. May the Lord comfort this family as they grieve the life of a child they were never able to hold.

Lyrics:
I have a Maker, He formed my heart
Before even time began, My life was in His hands
He knows my name, He knows my every thought
He sees each tear that falls, and hears me when I call

I have a Father, He calls me His own
He'll never leave me, No matter where I go
He knows my name, He knows my every thought
He sees each tear that falls, and hears me when I call

Thursday, August 21, 2008

What about....... Lulu?????

So, Tuesday night, August 19, - after a tremendously long day due to some urgent matters in our work with refugees in our city - Billy and I plopped down on the couch to watch the Olympics. A lady named Lolo was racing and tragically lost the race (it was so sad!). Billy.... out of no where.... says, "I want to name our daughter Lolo." I - in shock that he had an opinion about it and that he actually liked the name Lolo - said, "Are you serious? Do you not like the name Aria?" He - after almost a year of calling our next daughter Aria (and praying over her with this name) - came out with the truth, "no, I don't like the name Aria." I was in disbelief. "Well, I don't know what to think about that but we are not naming her Lolo," I said. "What about Lulu?" he asked. Still in shock I tried to think about how I really felt about that.

Now I must say that it is a little hard for my country, east Texas man to say her name... Aria (which should be pronounced ahreeah - like the Latin word for "melody" and not "area" (aireeah) as in a 10x10 area. And some older people seem to have the same trouble (not that you're old, Billy, haha!) So I have often wondered if he would ever say it with ease.

But then there's that beautiful meaning of the name "Aria" - in Hebrew it means "lioness of God". I love that. It has directed how I have prayed over her. And when I show people her room, I say "this is Aria's room".

So I asked Libby about it yesterday. I said, "Libby, do you like the name Aria or Lulu better?" And she said, "Lulu baby sister." So I thought... well, maybe that's my answer. But when we went in Aria/Lulu's room I said, "so this is Lulu's room now?" And she said, "no, it's Aria's too." So that left me with no direction.

Since name meanings have importance to me I looked up some baby name websites and I found that Lulu can mean "famous warrior" or in Tanzanian (an African language) it means "pearl". Now I like that. The thing I liked about "Aria" is that it also means "song" which is Libby's middle name. But pearls are big in China and I always think of Libby as my little pearl - so "Lulu" meaning "pearl" was convincing enough to continue considering it.

So... my next place to receive some feedback is here. What do you think? Here are our options:

Aria Lulu - and call her Lulu
Lulu Hope - which is her current middle name and we'd leave the name "aria" behind forever
Aria Lu - and call her Lulu as a nickname
Lulu Aria
or Lulu Ari

Or do you just think Billy is crazy 'cause you like the name Aria so much? LOL! Don't answer that!

We'll let you know what we decide....

Until then,
cindy

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Aria's Room



Yesterday, Billy left town to speak at a worship conference in Atlanta. Anytime the hubby is away, this cat starts decorating! Since we moved to our new home I have not had a chance to get Aria's room done. So I used yesterday evening and all day today to paint - pokadots! I still have to get the headboard for the queen bed from the old house, but other than that - it's done!

Libby was an ANGEL today as I painted away. She came and sat on the bed in the room and colored and talked and pretended. We had a blast together. She even kept thanking me for painting Aria's room! It was so cute! I think she thought I was painting the walls just to entertain her. I explained to her that one day Aria would live in this room and I would not only be Libby's mommy, but I would be Aria's mommy too. I went on to explain that Aria and her would be sisters just like Maliah and Dakota are sisters. She smiled really big like she understood and was happy about it! Love that girl!

I spent some time praying over Aria while I painted her room. I can't wait to know who she is and what she looks like. I can't wait to see her in this room calling out for us or for her sister. I can't wait to watch Libby and Aria love each other and play like crazy.

Until that day - I'll be visiting this room to pray over you some more, baby girl.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

1 month, 4 weeks and 2 days - Isn't that really 2 months!???

I'm not quite sure how my "counter" (see top of page) is counting - but I'm thinking 1 month, 4 weeks and 2 days is really TWO MONTHS!!! Tomorrow is the 13th. so maybe that's what it's waiting for. But I'm ready to proclaim it tonight - so here goes:

WE HAVE BEEN WAITING TWO MONTHS! WOO HOO!!! Just six or seven more to go....

Aria, we already love you so much! I can't wait to see you and Libby together. Libby is so fun-loving and kind. She is going to adore you! And so will your mommy and daddy! Praying for you, baby girl! - Love, Mom

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

In case you were wondering...

When we were adopting Libby we came across the occasional person with questions regarding why we adopted from China. "Why international adoption?", they would ask. We found ways to explain our decision - including China's plight, global perspective and the fact that it's just what God called us to do - and people seemed satisfied with the answers. While almost everyone was asking out of sincere curiosity and nothing more I found myself sometimes confused by the question. "Why NOT?", is what I'd be thinking to myself.

First, let me say - I love ADOPTION! - domestic, international - THEY ARE BOTH EQUALLY VALUABLE! So, please know I am not making much of international adoption as if it is somehow better than domestic. That is NOT what I'm saying.

But now that we are in our second international adoption the questions seem to bother me just a bit more. First, because most people seemed a lot happier about us adopting a baby from China than our adopting from Ethiopia. People used to smile real big when we said, "we're adopting from China" and they would often say - "we've always wanted to adopt a baby from China". Now, when we say, "we're adopting from Ethiopia" people just smile a little and say "oh, why Ethiopia?" I'm not answering this question with anger or resentment or out of defensiveness. I'm kindly, gently but passionately answering in a way that widens people's world views and perspectives, all the while burning inside for people to look outside our country's walls and see the dying world around us.

The last 2 questions/comments that have really made me burn inside are:

1. After explaining "why Ethiopia" - the person (who has never adopted at all) said - "well, you know adopting one child from Ethiopia is not going to make a difference"

REALLY? REALLY? Tell that to the child I adopt, okay?

2. As a person explained how he and his wife have always wanted to adopt from Africa (not knowing that that's what we're doing), he went on to say "but it really doesn't make sense to spend that kind of money when there are so many African American kids here that need homes."

The whole time he's talking I'm thinking this: Doesn't make sense? Adoption makes sense. PERIOD. Doesn't matter the cost or time involved. Doesn't matter "where". Yes there are plenty of kids in the US to adopt and yes - THEY ALL DESERVE FAMILIES AND HOMES. But in the US - they are most likely getting fed. They have access to the gospel, for the most part. They have free education. So, please don't say "it doesn't make sense" to adopt from Africa. PLEASE!

So - in case anyone is wondering - here's why we're adopting from Ethiopia - because in recent studies there are approximately 6 million orphans in a country that is only twice the size of TX. And if you want to see for yourself how even kids with families in Ethiopia are literally STARVING - click on this link. Anyone wondering "why Ethiopia" might understand better when they see this:

Click on this link and then scroll down playlist to "Famine Starves Ethiopian Young"
http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/world/2008/08/05/geissler.ethiopia.famine