Friday, July 23, 2010

Safe Haven - taking a pro-active step toward family safety

We live in a world full of amazing technology. I can remember - not that many years ago - when a computer was an incredible luxury. Today everyone has access to a computer and most have laptops (of some variety) that are portable and accessible almost anywhere. And now - the newest way to keep in touch with everything - is the iPhone. It seems that we are moving in the direction of one device that will eventually replace personal computers and handle all our communication needs. And while this is happening so fast that its kind of scary for older folks like me - I can see the potential for good. Especially when there are heroes like my son-in-law, Josh Farrer, working to use this technology to make the world a safer place for children.

Josh and some friends have developed an app for the iPhone called Safe Haven (learn more by visiting the website at You can be notified when a child goes missing in your area and you can be notified when a child predator moves into your area. The app provides a current list of missing children and their pictures so if you see a child that fits the description, you can compare to the actual picture. There is also a current list of child predators and their pictures.

The thing I love most about this is the proactive, empowering affect it will have on child-searches. I think I can safely say that having a child kidnapped is every parents' worst nightmare. I had a friend who's child wandered off and was missing for several hours. She said she never truly understood the phrase from the Bible about 'pray without ceasing' until that experience. I think we can all imagine the horror, but I hope that the helplessness that has accompanied these situations in the past - while parents waited for the police to find their child - will be diminished by this new app. Parents, friends, neighbors and total strangers can all work together to become a finding force - and the kidnapper's worst nightmare. The fact that through this app information gets out so fast and is so accurate will be a huge help in finding children and (I hope) a deterrent to predators who steal children. The key is to get this app onto as many iPhones as possible and thereby increase the finding force when a child is missing.

Every time this app is purchased the world becomes a little bit safer place. I am so proud of Josh for putting so much time and effort into creating something with so much potential for good. And I urge everyone to invest in protecting our children (and pass the word along!)

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Anticipating Tommy

July 7, 2010
It has been a busy few days - flying to Idaho, welcoming a new baby (Atticus Joshua Farrer) to the family, and finally flying home last night. Today has been particularly hectic - but tonight, as I sat going over my Monster List for the thousandth time in anticipation of Tommy's arrival tomorrow, my mind wandered back to March 7, 1989 - the night before I met him for the first time. In those days I was a faithful journal-keeper, so I was able to pull out the old book and read the words I wrote that night.

Tuesday, March 7, 1989 - Gracie woke me up at 2:00 this morning and I haven't been able to fall back asleep. So here I am, making one of my middle of the night journal entries. I think I am completely ready for this baby to come. We celebrated Gracie's birthday yesterday and she seemed to have a wonderful time. The house is relatively clean (I still need to do a few things today - like clean out the refrigerator). I even bought Tommy an Easter basket. So by tonight I hope to be in a holding-pattern, waiting for him to arrive. And I really hope I don't keep my doctor's appointment next week!!!!

I feel pretty much the same tonight. The house is relatively clean. There are several things that still need to be done tomorrow - but its all manageable. We've just had a string of happy birthdays - Jamie (25), Atticus (0), Aaron (24), and Clay (13). I think everyone enjoyed their day. I didn't get Tommy an Easter basket - but I have some new things waiting for him since he was planning to leave almost all his clothes - except the ones on his back - in Uganda for native missionaries. I have the refrigerator stocked with Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream. I have bags of peanutbutter M&M's. I have Root Beer chilling. We are once again in a holding-pattern, waiting for him to arrive.

Wednesday, March 8, 1989 - Well, I didn't make my doctor's appointment. John Thomas Green was born at 6:07 this morning. He is a sweet baby with so much hair! I started having contractions about 11:00 last night. I went on to bed since I figured if they were the real thing I wouldn't be able to fall asleep. I did fall asleep but I woke up a little before 2:00 with a good one. I got up to see if they would get worse - they did. I did a load of clothes, washed a few dishes, paid bills, did the food orders (I was Relief Society President at the time and bi-weekly had to submit food orders to the Store House in Atlanta so food could be delivered to needy families). Finally Butch woke up and asked what I was doing - so I had to tell him I thought I was in labor. He got up and got dressed. I called Cindy Smith (a friend who lived nearby) and she came over to stay with the kids. I only had a few contractions during the entire trip to the hospital and started to worry that I wasn't really in labor. But when I got to the hospital they took me upstairs and confirmed that I was definitely about to have a baby. The labor was easy and quick and I didn't even get an epidural (a decision I regretted toward the end - but am happy about now). In fact when it was time for the delivery Butch didn't have a chance to make an escape - so he stayed with me through the entire thing for the first time. Tommy was 21" long and 8 pounds, 2 1/2 ounces. The nurses were a little concerned about his breathing so they took him straight to the nursery. I was disappointed that I didn't get to hold him - but I definitely wanted to be sure he was okay. Finally they brought him to me - screaming his lungs out. But as long as I hold him he's happy. So I think I'll just keep him with me instead of sending him back to the nursery. I miss my other kids. When they came up to see me Laura was concerned about my IV and Jamie was concerned that I was still fat. I talked to Cathy on the phone a little while ago and she said she had cleaned her room perfect and then the little kids had dumped out the Legos and Barbies and were now shovelling them with Gracie's toy garden equipment she got for her birthday. Poor Cathy. But all in all this birth experience has been wonderful and we are so glad that Tommy is a part of our family!

On that first night of being Tommy's mother I loved him, even though I didn't really know him yet. Now I know him and love him. And I'm honored that he was sent to me. I'm thankful for his goodness, his obedience to the Lord and to his parents, for his diligent and uncomplaining service, and especially tonight - I am thankful that he is returning home. It has been a wonderful two years of growth and sacrifice and learning. I would not trade it for anything. But it is done. And I want my baby back.