This year we had two graduations Matti and Tyran. So proud of them both. Matti came to is at 14. Many of you have heard her story. So you can skip this part. For those of you that don't know the story..... When they asked us to take a 12 year old with special needs and here 6 year old brother I was hesitant. Matti had many needs and the case worker began naming them off . She was blind (I thought no big deal as my older brother is blind and I had helped care for him the last few years) Then they said hearing impaired. (I thought thats no big deal I know a little sign language and always wanted to learn more) Then they said born cleft lip, cleft palate (ok now they have my attention) Born No teeth, no tear ducts and no sweat glands (ok now Im concerned) then they end it with three fingers and each hand and two toes on each foot (ok now Im freaking out).

A million thoughts ran through my mind (most of them very selfish thoughts) I can't do this, I have no time to do this, I will have to care for her completely, how will I have time for my other kids, my life will be over, etc, etc, etc....

So after much prayer and soul searching we said yes. Matti came to us walking with a cain but further from what I expected than she could be. She took care of herself and tried to take care of everyone in else in the house. I had to remind her frequently that I was the Mom in this house and there was only room for one. Matti fit right into our home immediately and everyone fell in love with her. She had such a sweet spirit and always loving and forgiving to everyone.
She loved to volunteer and work with the homeless. She loved going to church and asked to join the church choir. At 14 we were at church and they were doing the story of blind Bartamus and when we got home Matti announced that if God could do that for him he could do it for her. (My heart broke because I did not have the faith of a child) I explained that yes
God could do all that and more but that he may have other plans for her.

Within a few months Matti had received her eye sight back. No surgery but much prayer. We watched her change into a timid scared little girl to a strong determined young woman. The person that I was afraid that I would be caring for the rest of my life rally didn't need me at all. She threw herself into her school (she was very behind due to moving around in foster care, missing school due to illness, and having to learn to read due to recent eye sight changes) She joined student council, fine arts at church, and debate at school (who would have thought she would be so great at arguing?)
She made friends everywhere she goes and touches everyone she comes into contact with. She was asked to join a ministry group that goes into the schools and uses there stories to fight against bullying. Matti is still with them today traveling around Texas giving her testimony to help others.

When we go places strangers stare at Matti and kids ask what happened to her. It never phases her to give her answer of this is how God made me. They have done her story twice on TV, in several new papers and magazines. Thousands of people have been touched by her story. A few weeks ago I got to accompany Matt to Washington DC for her to speak before Congress about adoption.

So a few week ago Matti moved into her own apartment with her older Brother Charlie and her sister Precious. Last night we watched her walk across the stage and receive her diploma. As we were
sitting listening to them give out all of the special awards for hard work, good grades,  and all of those that had excelled. Deahl said with tears in his eye those kids have not been through or fought half as hard to persevere as Matti has. But Matti's recognition will be in Heaven. Matti has touched more people in her short 19 years than most people do in a lifetime. (Including me.) I am blessed and honored that God chose me to  be Matti's Mom. Cant wait to see what God has in-store for her future.

My Second Graduate

Again many of you have heard Tyran's story but for those of you that have not. Tyran came to us at 15. A very angry troubled (and troubling) young man. I never hesitated to take Tyran even though he had a lot going against him including criminal charges. Deahl had reservations as he climbed out of the case workers car at 15 years old and 6'2" and 280 lbs Deahl may have had a lot of reservations.
Tyran did not want to be with a house full of white people any more than Deahl wanted him here. My thought was that he would be gone by morning. But he was still there ( I always say it was because of my loving to cooking and his loving to eat) He stayed. He had never got to play organized sports and loved playing football. They loved Tyran at school and he went from making failing grades and living in an RTC to living in our crazy home and making A's and B's. The coaches and teachers were staying after school and tutoring him and working with him. He got to feel loved and wanted and it was just the change he needed.
He was thriving and I know it was not easy for this young man to go from his previous life to a whole new life where there was expectations and rules. But her persevered. He had a head start because her knew God before he came to us so it was easy to get him back into the church. It has not been easy he has over come a lot. He has endured CPS that would not let him be adopted because we has considered one of the un-adoptable. He has worried and sent money to younger brother and bio Mom. 
He has stumbled but has not fallen. He has come back around and persevered over and over. We were blessed to got to adopt him a couple of years ago as an adult.  One of the ways I we attached was when I started greasing his hair. Something I didn't know how to do but he asked me and told be how to do it. It was one of the things he loved and one of the things I loved. I wouldn't take for this experience. He has been an amazing big brother and is much loved and looked up to by all of his little brothers and sisters. A few months ago he lost his bio mother and we were honored to walk through this tragedy with him. She would be so proud of the young man he has become. Last year he gave us a beautiful Gran-daughter and I know life has not been easy for him. But he has fought hard and graduated and I am so proud of the Man he has become.