The Servant


Who’s In Control


Mother Teresa: “I belong to Jesus. He must have the right to use me without consulting me.”

1 Cor 6:19-20 (NIV) …You are not your own; you were bought with a price…

Rom 14:8 (Jer) If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord, so that alive or dead we belong to the Lord.

“Right here we must see the difference between choosing to serve and choosing to be a servant. When we chose to serve, we are still in charge. We decide whom we will serve and when we will serve. And if we are in charge, we will worry a great deal about anyone stepping on us, that is, taking charge over us. But when we choose to be a servant, we give up the right to be in charge. There is great freedom in this. If we voluntarily choose to be taken advantage of, then we cannot be manipulated. When we choose to be a servant, we surrender the right to decide when we will serve. We become available and vulnerable.”


The Father’s Will

Have you opened your heart to the Father’s holy will for your life?  When you do, you will be set free as He doesn’t hold us captive and His perfect plan for you is LOVE.  Take this chance and go to confession so that your heart and soul will be free in Christ Jesus.  His plan is perfect our plans have flaws.

The Fifth Station of the Cross: Simon of Cyrene Helps Jesus Carry His Cross

Image courtesy of St Raphael Parish, Surrey.

When God lays a cross upon us, some misfortune, some unexpected burden, instead of thanking Him for this precious gift, too often we rebel against His will. We forget that our Savior never sends a cross alone, but ever sweetens its bitterness, lightens its weight by His all-powerful grace. With reluctance, with unwillingness, Simon bears the cross of His Master. At first his spirit revolted against this injustice, his pride rebelled against this ignominy. But once he accepted with resignation, his soul was filled with heavenly sweetness, he felt not the weight of the heavy beams, he heeded not the jibes of the multitude but pressed on after His Master, proud to be His follower.


The Fifth Station of the Cross by Fr Willie Doyle, the original post can be found:



Negative Adoption Humor

Have these memes ever crossed your path on Facebook or other social media? I am not an overly-sensitive proponent of political correctness, but I do think that this type of negative humor associated with adoption perpetuates the stereotypes they represent and causes them to become ever more ingrained in our culture. Of course, as an adoptive mother, I am not a fan of negative adoption humor, and I know I can’t always protect my daughter from dumb jokes or ignorance on the part of others. I do think that we can and should help others understand the truth about adoption.

One small way is to encourage the use of positive adoption language. (Example: I am my daughter’s real mom. She does have a birth mother, or first mother as some prefer, and her birth mom has a place of honor in our hearts, but I most certainly am a real mom…just ask my daughter!) And, although I have nothing against pets, I am not a fan of the use of adoption language for them. Rescue an animal from a shelter, buy a pet…but, please, leave adoption for the human children in your home. We adopt everything from highways to garden spots these days, and although I know the word can accurately have multiple applications, its overuse is tiresome and annoying at best to me. Adoption is a beautiful, selfless way that a family can be formed, through great love and self-sacrifice. It is not a hidden secret. It should not cause shame or horror. Today, adoption is an open community of life and love. Adoption built our family. May we be positive ambassadors and help others understand what it really means.

On the Miracle of New Life: A Brief Reflection by an Adoptive Mother

A small offering to mark the occasion of National Adoption Awareness Month and
to honor all members of the adoption triad everywhere…

New life is always a miracle. Adoption is a miracle of miracles: the miracle of life and the miracle of finding, of being found, and of a complete gift of self for the life of another in a brave, heroic way. (I am thinking of the courageous birthmothers who carry life and give life, making a most difficult sacrifice, dying to self to give life to another.) Emotions swirl around this gift of new life. Families find each other; there is interplay of sorrow and joy, finding and losing, sacrifice and gift. God surprised my husband and I with this drama, this gift, at a point in our lives when we thought it would never happen.

At the time, we had been married for 14 years. We had hoped and prayed for the blessing of children from the very beginning. Eventually, we knew the cause of our infertility and that only a miracle would make this dream a reality. We both had been working in ministry. I was a Catholic school teacher, and my husband served in youth ministry. We prayed, drawing close to the Lord and to one another, seeking His will, and discerning that perhaps He was calling us to be fruitful in this realm of service…perhaps we were called to bring Christ and His love to children other than our own. Also, working in ministry, we felt that we would never be able to afford adoption, and so hadn’t looked seriously into it. We were not the stereotypical childless couple. We never traveled, never “wined and dined” or splurged on ourselves. Instead, we sought to splurge our very selves on those the Lord placed in our lives, from the youth and families we served, to my brother with severe disabilities. So, when we were asked by our pastor if we were interested in adopting a baby, we were caught off guard and found ourselves rethinking and hoping and dreaming again, of a home filled with life that we could only imagine.

Our daughter was almost a statistic in the culture of death. Friends reached out in love to offer emotional and financial support to her birthmother. The young mother made a courageous choice to nurture and carry her baby, to make a complete gift of self in imitation of Christ, and then to let her go, to be nurtured and held by another mother, to flower and blossom apart from her, to find her gifts and her calling in the shelter of another family. She sacrificed her feelings and her heart, so that another family could be formed, but one that never forgets her or her sacrifice of love.

Parenting is never an easy road, whether by adoption or not. Whenever we open our hearts to another and to God’s will, there will be sacrifice and suffering. True love always involves a complete gift of self. Adoption is not easy, but parenting never is. My heart is open to more than just my daughter; it is open to her birthmother as well. An adoptive mother is ever aware of this sacrifice, this taste of bittersweet, this joy mingled with sorrow, even while she goes through her own challenges of parenting. His grace is our shelter and our hope. He orchestrated this family. He chose my daughter and allowed me to be her mother. Her birthmother entrusted me with this precious gift. I am humbled and awed by the gift and responsibility. May I always strive to fill my heart and home with His grace and love, to nurture this life entrusted to me with the utmost care, to be the best mommy I can be and cherish every ordinary, extraordinary moment.

 “…I bow my knees before the Father,
from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named…”
Ephesians 3: 14-15

Pax et Bonum,


Mother’s Day Prayers for Conception, Adoption and Pregnancy…

This prayer could be said as a novena by a wife trying to conceive a child.

A Prayer to St. Gerard for Motherhood

O glorious Saint Gerard, powerful intercessor before God, and wonder worker of our day, I call upon you and seek your help. You who always fulfilled God’s will on earth, help me to do God’s holy will. Intercede with the Giver of life, from whom all parenthood proceeds, that I may conceive and raise children who will please God in this life, and be heirs to the kingdom of heaven.  Amen.


More Prayers

for conception, pregnancy & adoption


October Baby

Theaters Next Month – I just watched
a pre-release and have something
to say about it.

By bryankemper

Many of my friends joke about the perks; I get with my job; backstage passes, lots of free swag, advance copies of books and movies to name a few. I admit that I love the perks, it is nice to be appreciated for the work I do. Recently I received a package in the mail from an upcoming movie that is being released in theatres next month, October Baby. It was an advance copy of the movie and a letter asking me to watch the movie and let them know how I felt about it.

Before I get into my thoughts, here is the trailer for you to check out:

continue reading here

Prayers Needed – Adoption Battle

Adoption Battle Over 5-Year Old Boy Pits Missouri Couple Vs. Illegal Immigrant


By LAUREN GILGER,  (@brianross) and ANGELA M. HILL
Feb. 1, 2012

PHOTO: Encarnacion Bail Romero claims that her son, Carlos Bail Romero, was taken from her while she was being held in custody for an immigration-related crime, saying she was helpless to stop the adoption process.

Encarnacion Bail Romero claims that her son, Carlos Bail Romero, was taken from her while she was being held in custody for an immigration-related crime, saying she was helpless to stop the adoption process.


A tug-of-war over a five-year-old boy is at the center of a national debate over parental rights and immigration, and a sign of what critics say is a growing trend in which immigrants are being deemed unfit parents because they crossed the border illegally.


Seth and Melinda Moser of Carthage, Missouri say the boy they call Jamison is their son, and that returning him to his birth mother after five years will cause him untold harm.  continue

Financing An Adoption

This isn’t the typical post I write for Hannah’s Tears.  Usually, I attempt to write in hopes of encouraging others to look at adoption as a viable way to build a family.  Adoption is a  God given opportunity to parent and to make the difference in the life of a child.  However, so often finances are a stumbling block to making the dream of adoption a reality.  So, as most of us are beginning to pull together our financial picture of 2011 for tax purposes, it’s a logical time to sit down and put all financial ducks in a row.

Unfortunately, adoption isn’t just a matter of discerning if it’s God call for your family.   A “yes” to adoption, doesn’t magically mean you have a cute, snuggling little infant in your arms.  Once you say yes, the real work begins and it often involves coming up with a significant amount of cash.

Now, please understand, I would never advocate going into debt for anything.  I firmly believe we should be living within our means and “the borrower is the slave of the lender” (Proverbs 22:7).   The truth is we did beg, and borrow for our first two adoptions.  At the time that was what we needed to do to bring our boys home, and we would do it again in a heart beat.

We weren’t going into debt to take an extravagant vacation, or to buy a fancy new car (that depreciates as soon as it leaves the lot!), no, we were going into debt for a precious human being.  And really, haven’t we all? “For you have been purchased at a price” (1 Corinthians 6:20)

So what are some steps that can be taken to help the financial piece of the equation?

Two invaluable resources to help with improving  an overall financial picture are:

Veritas Financial Ministries

Dave Ramsey – we have personally had great success following the Dave Ramsey plan.

To help plan what you are actually going to spend, Adoptive Families has a chart of actual adoption costs.  The results are taken from a survey of families who have completed different types of adoption.

Here is a list of a variety of financial resources:

**Please do your own research on what is going to work for your family.  This is just a list to help you get started.**

Adoption Financing Information – grants, loans, fundraising

Adopt Without Debt

Adoption Financing – more info on grants, loans

Dave Thomas Foundation – also includes info on asking an employer to offer adoption benefits.  This is definitely worth the effort, we were able to get an adoption benefit started with one of the company’s that Bob worked for.  Granted this is an “after the fact” benefit similar to the tax credit, but it’s very worthwhile.

Financing Info

Adoption Loans

Compilation of Financial Resources

Yahoo Group for Fundraising Ideas

It goes without saying that the most important step in the entire adoption process is to continue to pray, and to have faith that you are answering the call of God for adoption.  Sometimes, even when the financial picture looks grim, we need to step out in faith.  When we started the adoption process for our third child, we said yes to her adoption not really having any idea where our financial resources would come from.  I have shared Sarah’s story on our personal blog, please take a moment and read how God worked in a very powerful and tangible way.

In short, financing an adoption is possible.  Take advantage of the above resources, budget/save {make some financial sacrifices!}, and take advantage of the adoption tax credit.  My prayer is that you will find these resources helpful and they will encourage you on your road to adoption.

Soothe Our Sorrow

I am feeling prompted by the Holy Spirit as the first reading at Mass this morning was Samuel hearing the voice of God calling out his name and Fr. Eli telling the child Samuel to let God know that his servant is listening.  So, as the day ends I want to share this special icon of “Our Lady Soothe My Sorrow” with you.  In the Orthodox Church her feast is recognized as January 25, so since this is just 10 days away it will give you a novena of days to say the prayer below.  God bless you and may Our Lady soothe your sorrows.


O my All-gracious Queen Theotokos, my hope, who befriends orphans, and intercedes for strangers, Joy of those who sorrow, Protectress of those offended, look upon my troubles and see my sorrow: help me for I am weak, guide me for I am wandering: for you know my offense, resolve it as you will: for I have no other help than you, no other intercessor nor good comforter, only you, O Mother of God, may you keep and protect me, unto ages of ages.  Amen.



Most Holy Virgin Mary, tender Mother of men, to fulfill the desires of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the request of the Vicar of Your Son on earth, we consecrate ourselves and our families to your Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart, O Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, and we recommend to You, all the people of our country and all the world.

Please accept our consecration, dearest Mother, and use us as You wish to accomplish Your designs in the world.

O Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, and Queen of the World, rule over us, together with the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ, Our King. Save us from the spreading flood of modern paganism; kindle in our hearts and homes the love of purity, the practice of a virtuous life, an ardent zeal for souls, and a desire to pray the Rosary more faithfully.

We come with confidence to You, O Throne of Grace and Mother of Fair Love. Inflame us with the same Divine Fire which has inflamed Your own Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. Make our hearts and homes Your shrine, and through us, make the Heart of Jesus, together with your rule, triumph in every heart and home.  Amen.
-Venerable Pope Pius XII-