Folks, I can't tell you how inspired I am by my friends, the Hollis family. Melanie and I became friends years ago when we had the good fortune of having the same driver on our respective trips to Russia. It's funny to me now that Melanie and I met over a bottle of vodka because I can't imagine either of us drinking a bottle of vodka. But that's another story. Let's just say it involved one very passionate Russian driver with a generous heart. And the precious Hollis family carried a bottle of vodka LITERALLY around the world to a family they had never met or even heard of.
Anyway, it just goes to show you that God can use ANYTHING to bring two hearts together for Him. Melanie and I have been friends ever since and something has kept us close even through the wavy paths we've both walked in life. We've prayed together, done Bible studies together, and laughed alot! Melanie helps me laugh at things I want to cry over. And she inspires me every single day to be a better mother and Christian. I thank God for her!
But lately, I've been even more inspired by the heart Mel and Chappy have formed in their children. They have the most amazing kids. Contrary to my house, when you talk to Mel on the phone, no one interrupts, no one is screaming in the background, and no one is competing for attention. Which is amazing because she has five kids and they are all at home and two of them have Down Syndrome. Now will someone please tell me how in the world to accomplish this? But that's not what is so impressive (can you tell I'm a little jealous? :) What's so impressive is the love these kids have for God, special needs children, and particularly children with Down Syndrome. Now here is where the good stuff comes in.... I promised you a month filled with ways to live out your conviction that God didn't make too many children. I hear Katie say this all the time, that she is pretty sure God didn't mess up and make too many children so there are obviously some adults who aren't stepping up to the plate and doing what God intended for them to do through adoption. But not the Hollis family. They have the most open hearts and arms of anyone I know. Melanie's attitude is always, "I can take more." Now this is a very fun challenge she has thrown out to her sweet daughter Lydia. Lydia fell in love with a little girls on a Down Syndrome advocacy site called Reece's Rainbow. Mel told Lydia that if she could raise $20,000, the Hollis family would adopt Darya, a little girl with Down Syndrome who is living in a Russian orphanage without a hope in the world. (I can't wait to hear what Chappy has to say about this when he gets back from his mission trip in Africa!) Darya is left in her crib most of the time with no one to love on her, hold her, or interact with her. So... Lydia and her giant faith has started praying that God will bring $20,000 to the family by Thanksgiving! That's one week from tomorrow. But in her 11 year old sense of grand love, she has figured out that if she could just get 200 people to give $100 then they would have the money and they could let Darya know by Thanksgiving that she has a family. I don't think I have 200 readers in a week, much less a day, but if the 20 or so folks that do read would give $100, then that would be a grand start! (Lydia raised $800 today, one day after her campaign began! I love this girl's heart!)
Check out the Hollis Family blog (the button with the cute girl in pig-tails and glasses on my sidebar.) And give $5, give $10, or give $100. I would love to see God bring $20,000 to this child by Thursday so she could have a family for Thanksgiving... and I can't wait to see the gigantic things Lydia will accomplish next when she sees how easy it is for God to raise $20,000.
I think this is a girl we should all watch because I am expecting some great things from her. I told Melanie this week that her daughter is the total package, she's beautiful, she's talented, she has a heart of gold, and God would not raise all this up in one person and not do a mighty work with it!