Saturday, June 30, 2012


The Moghadams are HOME!  ALL eight of them!  It is a miracle and I am thanking God this day that they are TOGETHER and are HOME. :)

I cannot imagine how traumatizing the experience must have been.  Nor can I imagine going through the natural, normal adjustments of bringing home adopted children (YAY!) with this experience and trauma as the starting point of their new life together.  I hope the children are able to transition well in to this new family and new country and new life despite the rocky start to it all. It makes me sad for the whole family that that negative experience had to be where their family began.  BUT, I also believe strong families are made out of hard times, and I hope this will only strengthen their family. :)

Anyway, that is my little thought on the subject. :)  {HERE} is the link to the family's blog.

Again, I am SO THANKFUL they are all home safe and sound.  Thank you to everyone who has thought of them and prayed for them.

Saturday, June 23, 2012


HERE is an update from another blog about the family I posted about YESTERDAY.  Sounds like they are out of prison.  The bio kids are in custody of the US Embassy.  The children they are adopting are still in orphan care, but are safe.  Please continue to pray/send up positive thoughts.  Thank you all so much!  There are great miracles happening for this family, but they still are in a tight spot. :S  Thank you for helping out!!


There is an urgent situation in Ghana, Africa!!!!!!  I ask for everyone to join me in prayer.  If you aren't the praying type, you can join me in sending out positive thoughts into the universe.  If you know anyone in Ghana, you could maybe consider contacting them and seeing if they can help!

Here is the situation.

This mom and dad with two biological sons (ages 3 1/2 and 7) decided to adopt!  After much prayer and pondering they felt they were to adopt these four siblings in Ghana.  The parents and their two biological sons have just traveled to Ghana to bring home their four "new" children.  However, once there, someone called the police and FALSELY reported they were trafficking children!!!!!!!!  The parents were thrown in PRISON and ALL six children were sent to an orphanage!!!!!!  The US Embassy said they will not consider the case until MONDAY!  This will be THE WORST weekend of their lives...and who knows how long after the US Embassy considers their case the parents will be released and reunited with their children!!

I cannot even imagine how those parents must feel!  Taken from their children, and in a prison in a different country!  I know life in the orphanage was hard for those four children, and I cannot guess the trauma of thinking they were going "home" with their new family, only to be sent back to the orphan home.  I also cannot guess the trauma their other two children are feeling at being in a new, strange country and taken from their parents and placed in an orphanage (with over 200 children!).  The trauma and stress this family is experiencing is heartbreaking and overwhelming to even think about.

CLICK HERE to watch a video of the family.

Below is a picture of the family.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


My FAVOURITE day of the year has arrived ;)
Many people around the world have to go without shoes. In nice places, that is no big deal. Going without shoes to play in the back yard is fun, or running around on carpet feels so good on tired toes! But in countries where insects burrow into bare feet and lay eggs, going barefoot is a sentence to pain and suffering. In countries where keeping the ground clean, going barefoot can mean stepping on sharp glass or metal. In places where there are no roads, going barefoot can mean walking unknowingly into a burned field where hot embers are still burning. Going barefoot in some places isn't always what we, sitting at home, picture when we think of going without shoes on a nice summer day!
Today is about putting yourself in someone else's proverbial shoes. Even in America, going without shoes can be "not fun" when you have to walk into a public bathroom (EWWW!) or step onto a subway, or walk through a parking garage. Going without shoes for one day gives you the experience some people face every day.
So, kick off your kickers and show a little love. :) Show the world you understand the importance of helping shod needy feet!

Thursday, March 15, 2012


So, have you been DYING to know what YueYue looks like?! You HAVE?! Well, I talked to her mom yesterday on the phone and helped her figure out how to email pictures to me! Get ready to DIE over the CUTENESS of this little darling.

This is YueYue at Dragon Park.

Katie brought her there while she was visiting her over the Spring Festival.

YueYue and Katie at Dragon Park.

YueYue with her Daddy. Don't they both look so happy to be together?
YueYue at home (at her grandparent's house) last summer.
Isn't she ADORABLE?! You can really tell that she is loved and cared for. :) We have another package we are sending to Katie with clothes for Kate, and a dress and hairbows I made for YueYue (pictures forthcoming, you can count on it!). If you want to donate to help them out, let me know! They could also use a lot of prayers, as Katie is starting another job (still in the same factory, just making a different part for watches) and Katie and her husband are living away from YueYue. Also, prayers for YueYue's grandparents would be appreciated. They are getting old, and if they fall ill, Katie's future will become very unstable.
Thank you!!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


Spreading The Word vs. Saving The World Sixteen Small Stones is about Spreading the Word, and NOT about Saving The World. It took me a while to grasp this concept. I want to share this idea with you so you can better understand Sixteen Small Stones, and how you can be a part of what we are all about. :) When I first lived in China, I had a fantastic, uneasy experience. I was uneasy because I was in a new country. It was fantastic because I tried to embrace the new culture. Each night, the other foreign teachers I was with would head out to shop, go to bars and clubs, or meet up to watch American movies. I was kind of the odd one who did not participate in their activities. Instead, each night I would hike across the field to the "other" side of the campus. The school campus was set up so that on one side were the "foreign" things: the foreign teacher housing, the foreign teacher cafeteria, the foreign language building where we taught English, EVERYTHING "foreign" was on one side of the huge field in the middle of campus. Across the field were the Chinese things: student dorms (yes, the kids as young as three years old lived on the campus), the Chinese cafeteria, the Chinese classrooms. After the sun set and the foreigners were busy doing their American things, off I would go to the other side of the field. First, I would go see my students in their dorms. I would "talk" with them (even though I didn't know much Chinese and they didn't know any more English than what I had taught them...consisting of "Hello", "I like penguins", etc.). I was learning about their lives, but in retrospect, I see that somewhere in my mind, I was still holding to my life. (Of course, it was natural I would do this! I had never experienced this culture, so of course I would use my own culture as a gauge to their culture.) It wasn't that I was unwilling to change, it was that I didn't even realize I was staying the same! It was a shock to see that the way the children "bathed" was by pouring hot water, heated in a tea kettle, over themselves as they stood in a sink. I felt sorry for them that they slept in rooms without air conditioning as the temperatures outside soared in the summer heat. I ached when I saw their caregivers hit or kick them. I still was reacting to situations through the American filter. It wasn't until I had returned to America that I realized how much I had changed. How I had been influenced by China. How I had begun to realize that my way wasn't the only way, nor was it necessarily the RIGHT way. I now knew that bathing in a sink still got you as clean as bathing in a bathtub, and that sleeping in a room with no air conditioner was actually good for your health! Have you read the blog ""? It is the blog of a young woman living in Africa. When I first learned of KATIE, I thought she was saving the world. I LOVED it! I wanted to save the world, too! I wanted to take children with old clothes and give them new clothes. I wanted to give the farmers in China houses rather than mud huts. I wanted to give them a "better life". Then, I read something about Katie. Katie was living in Africa, helping children and adults, and a family was living with her at her house. They were in old, worn out clothes...and Katie was not giving them new clothes! I brushed aside a feeling I had that this was wise, and felt so upset that she wasn't doing more for them! More to "HELP" them!! Soon, though, that nagging feeling made its way to my consciousness and I realized what I knew all along. Katie was not CHANGING the world! She was, instead, telling her story as a way to show people in America that there was suffering. That aid was needed. But not to CHANGE anyone in Africa. The people with whom she was working needed some aid in the form of clean water or education, but they didn't need to be changed!! That is when I started to realize that this is what Sixteen Small Stones was all about. We are NOT here to "change" the world! In fact, we are not here to CHANGE anything...unless it be ourselves and our hearts and our awareness. We ARE here to AID where it is needed! It has been a process coming to that point. Moving from the idea that I need to CHANGE something! I don't. What Sixteen Small Stones DOES need to do is 1) bring awareness to the suffering of people, and 2) provide aid to relieve that suffering. Suffering is a relative term. What I saw as suffering in sleeping without a/c was actually a lifestyle that did NOT need to be changed. There was nothing wrong with it. On the other hand, the kids I saw starving in the streets WERE suffering. But they didn't need change. They needed AID! Someone to HELP them. Someone to tell their story, spread awareness and do something to bring them AID! To bring aid, we DO have to bring change! But not to any situation "out there"! The only change that needs to be done is in our hearts and our ideas and our motivation. We need to CHANGE our own goals. Sixteen Small Stones is NOT trying to change the world! We are trying to AID THOSE WHO ARE SUFFERING...and that suffering is defined only by THEM, not by us.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Kony 2012: Part 2

So, have you had time to think about Kony 2012? Have you read the reports AGAINST Kony 2012? Because there are a LOT of them. Here are two, but there are MANY more. HERE HERE From what I can see, there are a few major reasons people are against Kony 2012. From what I can gather, these are the biggies: 1.) People don't think the organization behind Kony 2012 (Invisible Children) donates enough money to the children. 2.) Kony himself is no longer in Uganda. 3.) There are other problems in Uganda. 4.) Not many people in Uganda are concerned about Joseph Kony. 5.) He has not killed and/or abducted many people recently. Here is what I have to say about that! 1.) They may not donate much, but how much have YOU donated? Aside from that statement, there are actual responses to this complaint, and you can find what Invisible Children has to say about it HERE (and I ALWAYS think the horses mouth is the best place to find information). 2.) I don't really care WHERE Kony is. He is an evil man who must be stopped! Kony and the LRA has moved through Africa, causing terror and leaving destruction and death in their wake. Just because they are no longer in Uganda doesn't mean they are not SOMEWHERE! When they were not in Rwanda, they were in Congo causing death and harm. When they left Congo they went to Uganda where they killed, raped, maimed and kidnapped. Now that they are not in Uganda, why would we think they should just be ignored? Like leaving Uganda means they have decided to be "good guys". 3.) Yep. There surely are. But just because there are other problems doesn't mean we can't help with ONE problem!! If your child has a cough, a fever and a runny nose, do you not give them medication for their fever? Do you think they just have too many other problems and the fever should be ignored? Of course there are other problems in Uganda! But that doesn't mean we should not do what we CAN to help! If all we can do now is raise awareness about Kony, let's do it! 4.) How many need to be worried to take action? Also, what people are not concerned? The ones living in safe cities in gated communities? Of course they are not worried. It is the villages the LRA attacks, so those in the city would naturally not be worried, would they? If I live in down town Las Angeles, I would not be too worried about a wolf attack, but that doesn't mean I can't support a law regarding wolfs and wolf safety for those living near Yellowstone in Wyoming! 5.) This last one gets my blood boiling. Despite how angry and fired up I am about this, I am going to try to remain level headed and composed so I can keep my thoughts clear and concise. First, let me ask you a question. If your neighbor killed intentionally kidnapped, tortured and killed your child, should your neighbor be punished? What if your child was the only one he had done this to. Should he still be punished? How many children would he have to harm for you to feel he deserved punishment? What if he had killed hundreds in the past, but only killed your son this year? Should he still be punished, or would you be satisfied if someone said he only killed one child this year so he should not be punished? That is how I feel about what Joseph Kony and the LRA has done. So what if he "only" killed so many last year?! How many have they killed in the past? How many more will they kill? And even if they ever only did kill "that" many, don't you feel that one life is enough to evoke justice? There is another point I want to state. I do NOT know the best course of action to take against Kony and the LRA. I do not know that a full-blown military invasion is the best course of action AT THIS MOMENT. The LRA still has many children in their custody. Threatening Kony at this time could bring about the torture or death of those children. They could be caught in the cross-fire and many children could be massacred. Also, the LRA still has a lot of power and control. If we threaten Kony, he may respond with more violence, more abductions and more terror. I believe there IS a solution, however. Even if we have not thought of it yet. It may be the best defence against Kony is to offer protection for the children to keep them from being easy targets for abduction. Remember hearing about the night commuters? Maybe offering more safe places for them to hide at night would be one small step towards safety and peace from the LRA. Another solution MIGHT be in education. I do not KNOW this would help, but PERHAPS educating the children would improve income and more would be able to live within the safety of the cities rather than in the countryside or in the bush. Regardless of how a change should come about, I feel that a change MUST occur. It is shocking to me that this is not a unanimous feeling. I am applaud and sickened that so many believe Kony should just be ignored. That the LRA should be overlooked. Anyway, I believe that the best way to promote change is through AWARENESS! When I was 22 years old, I gave a speech where I talked about an epidemic that is killing thousands of people. It can be found among the poor or wealthy. It does not discriminate among race or religion or gender. It is fast spreading and far reaching. The worst part is most people do not know when they have it! And when some are told they have symptoms, many deny it or simply do not care. The effects are devastating and deadly. What is it? Apathy. I stand by what I said eight years ago. Being apathetic IS deadly. And I think it is what we are facing today. People are so caught up in the logistics, the donations, the statistics, that they are hardened and don't even care about the individual. That single child who is at this moment marching through the bush on their way to be trained by the LRA to be a soldier. They do not care about the young woman being raped at this moment. They do not care about the little boy who is watching his mother being hacked to pieces by a soldier of the LRA. They are only worried about how much money is not being donated, or if enough people were killed last year to care. AWARENESS. ACTION. CARING. CONCERN. COMPASSION. KNOWLEDGE. EMPATHY, NOT APATHY. This is why I want to be involved in Kony 2012. Not to march someone in to Africa and cuff Kony! But to show I care. To raise awareness. To increase knowledge. To show compassion. To take SOME action, because it is better than sitting and watching the horror. This is what Sixteen Small Stones has always been about. Making a difference, no matter how small, and raising awareness. Remember the story of where the name Sixteen Small Stones came from? Let me remind you: In a book of scripture believed in by some, a man wanted to help his family cross a great water (during the time of the Tower of Bable, when God confounded the languages, for those who believe in the Bible). The man prayed to God, who showed him how to build enclosed, water tight vessils that could be used to cross the water. The vessils were safe against the waters, but were completely dark on the inside. The man pleaded with God that he provide light in the vesils so that the man and his family would not have to cross the great water in the dark. In his great faith, the man molten out of the mountain sixteen small stones (enough for two for each of the eight vesils). He brought the sixteen small stones before God and asked that God would touch the stones as he had faith that God could make the stones glow. God touch the stones, which then shone forth in the darkness. In this story, electricity was not invented. Nor did the man try and create a way to light the ocean so it would not be dark. Rather, this man brought what he had, sixteen small stones and all of his faith, before God. Sixteen Small Stones is not all about drastic measures, or earth shattering changes taking place in a huge and explosive way. It is about doing all we can. It is about sending diapers to Africa keep little kids clean and comfortable. It is about sending a single Valentine to let an orphan know they are loved. It is about sending stickers to a little boy with burned feet and no mommy to kiss him and help him feel better. Sixteen Small Stones also exists to raise awareness. To let people know what is happening outside of their neighborhood. To stamp out ignorange and bring light in to the dark places in the world. Isn't this what Kony 2012 should be about, too? That is the way I see it. And because raising awareness and encouraging change, even in small ways, is what Sixteen Small Stones is all about, I MUST be involved in Kony 2012.