Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Gems Need Your Help!



Before we opened...


While preparing to open The Gem Foundation 

my best guess was that we would add Gem upon Gem

ever-so-slooooooowly.

I thought that probably in the first year we would have

 six or so sweet Gems to love and care for.

Our first Gems arrived!



Imagine the surprise when Watoto contacted

The Gem Foundation and asked me if we could

partner with them!

Before long they gifted us our first 11 Gems!!!

Wow!! 

I was in shock to say the least!!

Of course, we were smitten with each of the 11!!

Definitely looking forward to a bit of pink sometime

in the future,

but things were busy and the rooms were

nearly filled - already!!

Before we could even get really settled with the 11,

a call came for one who needed a home.

Before long we took the "extra" room we had for supplies

and the nurses station and moved

a sweet girl gem into there.

Then there was another call.

And then another call.

Every room available was now overflowing.



But what would we do?

Turn our back?

Never!!

The needs have been enormous!!

Bigger than we could have imagined.

More beds ordered as quickly as possible.

One coming from the far west.

One coming from way up north.

Many severely abused.

One left naked and tied up in public.

Horrific malnutrition.

Desperate situations.

Indescribable needs.

More cribs ordered.

Squeezing in here and squeezing in there.

And the calls keep coming.

With every addition our hearts have welcomed

and embraced each new Gem.

All fitting in to our precious Gem family.  

Personally, I have been so humbled and amazed by all that God

has done in our life and ministry.

He has blessed us and provided again and again.

Now just five months later, we have had the joy of 

caring for 23 precious ‘Gems’!!

Little did we know that in the first five months,

 we would not only have tremendous joy and blessings

but also such sorrow and grief

with the loss of Arthur and Jason.

When we first began I joked with friends that we’d grow little by little.

Little did I know that God had other ideas and soon our arms

would spill over with His precious Gems.


.



Tonight downstairs twenty-one precious Gems snooze in their beds.

My eyes fill with tears.

 His goodness never ceases to amaze me.

Yet  several months before we opened

 God began to whisper to me that someday we’d need a place

 to call our forever home.

I thought that maybe that day would come in a few years.

And with each phone call and new referral for our home

I realized "someday" might be sooner than I had imagined!!

As we have grown we quickly came to understand that

our home is just not big enough.

We’ve rearranged rooms more times then I can count as

we’ve added each new crib.


But friends - we are more than out of room!

We must do something to change that.

The need is still too large!

With much prayer we began to dream of our own place to

truly call our forever home.

A place where our Gems can heal, learn and grow.

We're dreaming of a place that we no longer struggle

to bath our kiddos, 

but a place with wheelchair accessible showers.


We're even dreaming of a place with land to run and play -

to plant and to grow our own food.

We are dreaming of a place to see our Gems thrive and

take their very own steps.

We dream of a village of special needs children growing to adults

because some will grow with us for a short season,

some will be resettled

and

some will live with us long term. 

Would you prayerfully consider joining us 
in making our forever home a reality?

Here are just a few ways you could partner with us...

First, would you please pray with us?

Ask God to direct your steps...

Then - 

Perhaps you would host a fundraiser 

or

 have a cupcake sale

or

organize a multi-family yard sale

or

have an auction...

or

even get your church involved...


There are so many ways you can be apart of

The Gem Foundation's Forever Home!!!

If you or someone you know is interested in partnering with us:

Send us an email at:

office@thegemfoundation.com

You can also be a part by donating now.


DONATE



We need you!

Will you help us??

Thursday, December 11, 2014

"Will You Marry Me?"



My heart is practically bursting at the seams!

It all began so many years ago..

The day we first met - for him he says it was love at first sight.

I was 6 years old and he was just 8.

Little did I know all that would transpire 10 years later.

In early fall of 2008 we began emailing.

Casually he would appear as I would Skype his little sister Anna 

{Who happened to be my best friend!}

Little by little he would appear more frequently and 

then one day he would ask if he could have my cell number.

Then on December 31st - he texted me asking 

"Can I call you for a quick question".

I couldn't imagine what that question would be as I quickly texted back,

"Sure".

As my phone rang I looked at my Mom and asked her 
what she thought he had to say.

She mumbled something and I shook my head.

As I answered the phone on the first ring,

I questioned what he needed.

He responded "I wondered if you'd be around on the 24th of July"

I giddily asked if he was bringing his sister to visit.

He responded, 

"Actually, NO I was thinking we could just hang out?"

I told him I'd look and let him know.

As we said goodbye - I was dumbfounded.

Did Joshua Q. really just ask me out?

So I did what all teenage girls do and I texted him back.

"Did you just ask me out?"

He responded with a "Yes" 



{Just kids!}

And so it began,

We eagerly began counting down the days until our very first date.

Just two days after my 16th birthday.


Our first date.

~
We  fell so in love and we dreamed of our future together.

We were each other's best friends, confidants and encouragers.

Yet to our heart break,

after three years together we would part ways.

and say goodbye to what we had thought would be forever.

He would head off to flight school and I'd 

 move to  Uganda and call it home.

~

To my surprise after living in Uganda for just about 7 months,

I would journey to a local Orphanage to drop off food for their kiddos.

As I was visiting and playing with the kids.

I heard a car coming up the lane,

As I turned around to my complete surprise

there stood Josh.

The man I had fallen in love with so many years before.

Only this time we hardly knew each other.

We hadn't spoken in almost a year.

But God would have other plans as he would begin to do some healing in our lives.

Some of you may have even read the post titled:


~

That summer a new friendship would start.


We spent many hours that summer spending time together and talking.

As he journeyed home,

we'd continually talk on the phone, Skype and text.

Not a day would go by that I wouldn't miss him.

As he left he made me one little promise.

Within one year he would be back.

I apparently didn't take him seriously at the time.

But true to his word,

Within a year passing -

the guards came to tell me that there was someone waiting on the porch for me.

As I'd walk out to the porch to my surprise there stood Josh.

I was so shocked that I just stared at him 

and then ran inside to tell Macey

 {my assistant, picture taker and best friend!}

How funny it must have been.

There stood Josh and all I did was turn around and run.

{poor guy!}

We joke about it now!

Those few weeks we'd spend together would be some of the best ever.

We'd share our passions, talk, laugh and spend time loving on my gems.


Just two months later Josh would travel to my parent's home to

 spend some time with my family,

talking with my Mom and Dad and to ask their permission 

and blessing on our relationship.

We were so excited that they gave us their blessing to pursue a courtship relationship.

We'd then begin Skype dating. 

Which living in Uganda can be a bit difficult.

We'd soon plan that he'd fly in for Christmas.

We began counting down the days.

But then on December 7th - something truly special would happen.

Josh would ask me to have a candle light dinner on the balcony of

The Gem Foundation

{conveniently we'd lose power and this would have been the perfect set up!}

As I came out to the balcony to my surprise I'd find it lit up with tea light candles,

and classical music playing.




We'd sit down to dinner and talk.

He began sharing how he'd love to spend his life growing old with me.

Then he'd stand up and ask me to dance on the dance floor,

{Josh is a romantic so of course he lined the floor with more candles!}

We'd dance to our old song and then another and on the third song,

He'd stop,

all the sudden to my surprise there he was on one knee!

thats when he asked;

"Will You Marry Me?"

to my reply I said, 

"YES! A THOUSAND TIMES YES!'

Oh my sweet friends,

it's officially official,

I'm marrying my best friend and we couldn't be happier.

We are so excited to spend our lives growing old together 

and caring for our most precious 'Gems'.

We are so thankful that God redeems and restores our brokenness!

Out of our Ashes He makes such beauty.

We haven't picked a wedding date yet - but hope to soon.


Rejoice with us sweet friends -

WE'RE GETTING MARRIED!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Jane Mercy Come's Home!!




We are so excited to share that our home has gotten a lot more pink!

We’ve welcomed home 'Gem' number 19!

I am so excited to introduce her to you!!

Meet our 'Gem',

Jane Mercy 

She is so full of life and bubbly personality!


She is sassy, sweet and loves to giggle.


Our ‘Janey’ is hearing impaired and has epilepsy and
several other special needs.


But she never lets that stop her -


She loves to play outside, and her smile radiates as she runs in the sunshine.




It is our prayer that ‘Janey’ will be able to learn to communicate. 

We are so excited to see her begin learning sign language 

and to watch the world open up to her!

 If you are interested in sponsoring our

"Jane Mercy"

Email us at,


office@thegemfoundation.com

Subject:

"Jane's Team"

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Mattie Makes a Dramatic Entrance!


I'm so excited to introduce you to the newest edition!!

Yesterday night he decided to bring a dramatic entrance to our 'Gem' family,

As soon as we posted the status:

"Emergency - please pray for our Gem..
Air way closed and struggling to breathe
(possible allergic reaction). 
In route to ER. Please pray and ask others to pray!"

Many of you immediately began to pray for healing for our precious boy!

We were in awe to know that you were praying around the world.

Just a few hours later we found out he was going to be okay

 and that his throat was restricted due to an abscess inside his throat.

He is on medicine and will continue to heal as the infection runs its course.

*Please pray for it to heal quickly*

This little man is such a heart stealer and brings us so much Joy!

His arrival was a surprise after an unexpected phone call.

Within hours of the phone call he was in our arms.

We immediately fell so in love.





With each 'Gems' arrival we like to take some time to pray and choose a name,






that is picked out, thought over and prayed for.

When we met this sweet 'Gem' we knew he was indeed a gift to us.


Arriving just 2 months after the loss of our Jason - 

We knew he was indeed a gift and a blessing.

That being said we have given him the name,

"Matthias"

meaning 

"Gift from God"

His name was inspired by a sweet little boy across the ocean who
was so loved and had a zeal for life.

He went to dance with Jesus in November and our hearts ache
with his precious family.

We love you Loux family!

When we prayed about a name we couldn't think of a better name
for him then to carry on Mattie's legacy.



             Mattie has Cerebral Palsy and Hydrocephalous.

Yet he doesn't let that stop him!

He has the most contagious smile and laugh and truly brings
such joy to our home.

Mattie has been at the hospital having tests done to determine several things -

He is in need of Surgery to have a shunt put in.

Above all else please pray and ask others to pray!

Pray for wisdom as we schedule the surgery and for God's
protection over Mattie.

Since his abscess is on his throat we need it to heal quickly
so he can have the surgery he needs.


~

If you're interested in sponsoring,

our

precious boy please

send us an email at:

office@thegemfoundation.com

make the subject 

"Mattie"

Monday, November 24, 2014

She's Here! She's Here! She's Finally Here!! HANNAH!!!!


For over a year I've dreamed of writing this post.

Of sharing about this sweet little girl.

Two summers ago

 I happened to be serving at a local baby home

and when I met this little Gem

she instantly stole my heart!!!

 I dreamed of this day and in the meantime I would pray.


Taken a Year Ago


Little did I know God would work behind the scenes.

And little by little

that dream would become a reality!

Since she stole my heart two summers ago,

 I'd go and visit and see how she was doing.

Hoping and praying that someday it would come home.

Oh my sweet friends,

it is with a great joy that I introduce you to our littlest princess
who has certainly stolen our hearts.

Meet:

Hannah


She brings us so much joy and laughter!

She may seem small at first,

 but she has a big personality and is a joy to all who know her!

She loves to be held and enjoys playing with her toys.

Hannah has Cerebral Palsy and several other special needs.

Yet she never lets that stop her.

Macey and Hannah

Whether it's rolling or stretching she is always on the move.

I'm thinking we may have a future gymnast in our midst!

It is our prayer that Hannah will learn to communicate and we pray 

that someday we will help her take her first steps.

We love this sweet girl and we are so thankful she is home with us!

********

If you are interested in sponsoring our

"Hannah"

Email:

office@thegemfoundation.com

Subject:

"Hannah's Team"

Monday, November 17, 2014

Jerom's First Date



This past weekend we had a very special day!
 
We celebrated our,
 
 Jerom's 12th birthday!
 
This handsome boy brings us so much Joy!
 
He is always smiling and greets us with shaking his fist when we walk in.
 
He loves life, cuddles and wheelchair rides!
 
We decided we needed to do something extra special to truly celebrate him and his life.
 
We planned a special day,
 
complete with his very first date out!

Since our 'gems' have been home we don't get to take them out for fun things.
 
Usually its doctors appointments etc.
 
So when we told him,
 
that we were indeed taking him out on a date.
 
His excitement couldn't be contained.
 
He cheered with joy and enjoyed riding in the car with shrieks of excitement.
 
We took him to a restaurant where he could have some yummy Mango juice!
 
 
{On our way to the restaurant!! He loved the car ride!}
 
We then went for ice cream and he smiled the whole time.
 
His Joy couldn't help but melt your heart.
 
I felt so humbled that I get to,
 
I get to love him and care for him.
 
What did I do to get this privilege and incredible honor of calling him mine?
 
I don't know how to quite explain it,
 
But to me each of my 'gems' is my child.
 
I love them with a motherly love and feel such pride at each accomplishment that they make.



 
 
Taking him out on his very first date was so much fun and joy.
 
Jerom is one of a kind and I am so thankful he's mine!
 
Oh sweet Jerom you are so loved and we are so thankful for your life.
 
You are valued and precious to us.
 
Happy 12th birthday sweet boy!
 
Xoxo
 
 

Friday, November 14, 2014

BIG News!

 
 
Eeek!
 
I am bursting with excitement when tonight I read the news,
 
 
Shared the official news of us,
partnering with them!
 
We are so overjoyed, honoured and humbled to work with Watoto.
 
Since I was a little girl and I first saw and heard the choir,
 
I never would have imagined all that God had planned!

But that my sweet friends,
 
is a story for another day!

I am just amazed by the way God has worked behind the scenes here in our ministry!

You can read the full article here:
 
 
 
If you haven't liked our page on Facebook then please do:
 
 
The Gem Foundation

Have a blessed weekend friends!
 
Yippie Jesus!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Meet our 'Gem' Zeke



Every time it is time to introduce another 'Gem' to you,
I can hardly stand it.
 
Each of our 'Gems' are all so unique and beautiful in their own way.
 
They are special and one of a kind!
 
They all add such life and joy to our home.
 
I'm so humbled and amazed that I get to love them and call them mine!
It is with a great Joy that I introduce you to our 'Gem'
 
Zeke

He is such a sweetheart and we're so in love.

Although he comes from a painful past,
it has been such a joy to watch God healing him and restoring his life.
 
We were so very excited to give him his name which means;

"God Strengthens"



Zeke has Autism and several other special needs in results of his severe Malnutrition.

It has been so much fun to watch him heal, learn and begin to explore the World.
 
At first he was shy and withdrawn but now he is so full of life!
 
He loves life and food and his nannies too.



 
He has begun crawling and we are so excited to watch his healing take place
 
as we pray that someday our Zeke will learn to communicate and walk.
 
I so love this little man and we are so happy he has joined our 'Gem' family.

If your interested in sponsoring our,

"Zeke"
 
Email:

office@thegemfoundation.com
 
Subject:

"Zeke's Team"

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Bethany Comes Home


I'm so excited to finally introduce you to this sweet girl!

She is one of the newest editions to our home and she brings so much love to all she meets.
 
Meet Our Gem,

"Bethany"




This girl is a true 'gem' and one of a kind!

When we heard the news of her joining our home,

 our hearts practically burst at the seams.

But that's not even the best part of her story.

When we found out the news that soon Bethany would be joining our home,

we then learned some exciting news!!

It turns out, that our Anita,

had been  best friends with Bethany,

 since they were just babies at Watoto.

They would continually be together and play together.

Such a sweet bond that they had shared.


Anita 
{in an unplanned, almost matching shirt!}

Bethany arrived during rest time...
 
For our Anita,
 
 it had grown a bit lonely with only brothers - even if she had 14!

On the day of Bethany's transfer she walked into our home with a mission.

Immediately she searched for her best friend Anita.

Oh my sweet friends.

What a beautiful reunion it was!














Best friends for life and sisters forever because Bethany

 is now part of the family at the 'Gem Foundation'!

~

Our Bethany has several special needs.

But she never lets that stop her - she is continually serving others,

wiping mouths, feeding and pulling the others on her lap to soothe them.

She walks with the use of a walker and has the most compassionate heart for others.

She brings us pure Joy with her mama's heart.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

Most readily understand,
care for a special needs gem is entirely 
different than those without significant need.

Due to this reality,

The Gem Foundation 

has created a "team" for each Gem
which will consist of several 
team members who contribute to their
Gem's daily care. 
Each team member will be sent 
regular updates, pictures and information
that will give each team member 
the joy of personally 'knowing' their gem.

~

If your interested in sponsoring our,

"Bethany"

Send us an email at:

office@thegemfoundation.com

Make the subject:

"Bethany's Team"

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Introducing our "Gem" Joshua



I'm so excited for you to meet our newest 'Gem'

I've truly enjoyed reading your guesses on his name!

It was so much fun to play this little game with all of you.

I was tickled when I awoke this morning,

and read that some of you guessed his name!

The first to guess his name were:

Terry G. & Fiona S. 

Great Job ladies!

{Please send me an email with your address & 
your sweet Ugandan surprise will be on its way!}

For all who guessed thank you so much for being apart of the game!

It made introducing him so much more fun!

It is without further ado that I introduce you,

to our littlest 'Gem'.

His name is:

Joshua

He is our littlest 'gem' being only 5 months old!

He is beyond precious and has stolen all of the nannies hearts.

And mine as well.

Our precious Joshua suffered severe burns,

 resulting in the loss of his hands.

His life story is truly a miracle.

He has been having skin grafting surgery and will continue having surgery as he heals.

I have no doubt that God has good plans for our sweet Joshua's life

and we can't wait to watch them unfold.

Yet he never lets the loss of his hands stop him.

If I had to use only one word to describe him,

I'd say Joyful.

His joy is contagious!

He frequently makes us laugh at his antics.

He also refuses sleeping in the day just so he can stay in his Nannies arms.

He's a charmer and were so glad he's apart of our 'Gem' family!

Due to his severe burns we won't be sharing his face publicly.

For now I will just leave you with his curly head!


Would you please join us in praying for our sweet Joshua?

He is often in pain as his body is still cast from his previous surgeries.

Would you pray for healing and wisdom for the doctors?

If your interested in sponsoring our precious,

"Joshua"

Send us an email at:

office@thegemfoundation.com

Make the subject:

Joshua

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

We've grown and we've grown and we've grown and we've grown.. BY FOUR!





I'm so very excited to have some Joyful news to share with you!

Before opening our home,

I thought we'd take it slowly.

Maybe one or two or four kiddos.

But boy oh' boy was I surprised! 

Recently we celebrated our three month anniversary of opening our doors.

I am awestruck by all that God has done in our home in the last 3 months!

 I'm so excited to share the joyful news:

 Our home has grown By FOUR!!

We now have a total of 17 Gems in our home!

I can't wait to share their precious faces with you.

Our hearts have been overflowing with his goodness & his faithfulness!

Let the introductions begin...

Just one little hint...

Our "Gems" name begins with a J...

Any guesses?!

The first one to guess  our "Gems" name will receive a little gift from Uganda!

After all whats a game without a prize?

Check back tomorrow to officially meet our newest gem!

Let the guessing begin!!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Jason


{Our last picture together - taken just minutes before you met Jesus}

It has been one week since I held you in my arms for the last time.

Your beautiful eyes would stare into mine...

My heart aches for you and my arms long for you.

I've never known such pain and sorrow.

The grief that comes with losing a child is painfully real and raw.

I never would have imagined your time here on earth would be so short.




I dreamed of seeing you healed and learning to communicate with us.

I dreamed of you riding in your new wheelchair that was ordered and on its way.

I planned your birthday party for today -

 never knowing that you'd pass away just one week before your 7th birthday party.

I planned the cake and had the party hats ready -

anxious to celebrate you my sweet boy.

I imagined your sweet smile as we gave you your brand new backpack

 filled with new clothes picked out just for you.


You and I had a special bond and I lovingly called you "my JJ".

You'd cry and then I'd pick you up and all would be okay with the World.

You returned from the hospital after being admitted for two days.

They gave you the all clear and released you.

I was so excited to have you back home with us.

Because without you the house felt simply empty.

Your oxygen levels remained low -

 so you continued on oxygen being monitored by the nurse.

Because it was Staff Meeting we brought you in the meeting with us.

You received extra cuddles and were smothered with love.

So thankful my sweet boy am I for that day.

After the meeting finished I felt drawn to hold you close again.

Whispering sweet words to you and how much I truly loved you.

We listened to worship music as I sang quietly to you as you cuddled in my arms.

As the song started singing about heaven your breathing became labored.

I called the nurse inside and then my sweet boy all too soon you were gone.

We immediately began with CPR and continued as we drove to the hospital.

They ran inside as I quickly found a parking spot.

As I ran into the emergency room,

I knew you were gone.

The doctors shared with me how sorry they were.

Yet grief filled the air.

We grieved for the loss of you in our lives.

It was a bittersweet moment.

For so long of your life you struggled for every breath.

You were a fighter -

Fierce, Brave and Strong.

Because of your Scoliosis you would always have difficulty breathing.

Your lungs and heart worked so very hard.

But in that moment that you met Jesus,

it must have been the most beautiful thing.

I imagine what it felt like for you to breathe sweet heavenly air.

Finding your lungs healed and whole.

Your body no longer being affected by Cerebral Palsy.

I imagine you jumping and dancing for joy.

As Jesus picked you up his arms..

I imagine you and precious baby Arthur seeing each other again.

My eyes fill with tears at the thought that you my boys are together again.

Oh my boys, how much sweeter heaven is.

Dance my sweet boys dance!

Although my heart aches and the tears continue to drip

I imagine what its like for my boys to no longer struggle

and that brings me such joy.

But for all left behind we grieve, we miss you and we remember you.

Because you my sweet JJ are worth every heart ache,

every tear and every painful breath.

Loving you was worth it all and even more.

Your life was valuable.

You were so loved and we are so thankful you were part of our 'Gem' family.

Once your a 'Gem' you're always a 'Gem'..

And you my sweet boy will never be forgotten.

I love you my sweet JJ.

Always and Forever.

Hold baby Arthur for me okay?...

Xoxo