Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Chapter Eight - No One Else



"George" jumped of the list.
(I am SO SORRY, but we are not allowed to share his picture with you yet!)

I had noticed him on the waiting kids listings before.

Maybe I should inquire?

Nah, we are taking a break.
(still staring)

He's pretty cute.
(still staring)

I'll keep looking, maybe make a list.
(he's first on the list)

This is so hard. 
(how do you make a list?)

I'll just inquire about four.
(It will take her a while to get back to me anyways.)

~ ~ ~

When Todd came home for lunch that day,
  we talked
...about adoption.
 ... about how it's in our face.
 ... about how God won't let us take a break.

I told Todd about the little waiting faces and how I inquired about four.

THE NEXT DAY
an email arrives from adoption worker.
She has the requested information.

But only for one.
Can you guess who?

"George."
No one else.

We pray about "George."
We think about "George."
We talk about "George."
We really, really like "George," 
a two year old in South Korea
with a long medical history.

His medical file was enormous and we couldn't understand the half of it.
The parts we could understand were pretty scary.  
We didn't care. 
Still, we had already learned that ignorance is never a good thing.
So we sent his medical files to my sister, a pediatrician, and asked for her input.


We waited.
I was so afraid of what she might say.
I was so afraid she would discourage us from going forward.

She didn't.

I emailed our adoption worker the next morning: "What's the next step?"
She had to check if he was on hold with any other Bethany families.


We waited.
Six hours later--no holds!

Now she had to check again. He might be on hold though another agency.


We waited.
48 hours later--no holds!


Guess what.



He's on hold now.


FOR US!!!

 

And this is how we feel about that!
 (click on arrow)

video

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Chapter Seven - Red Flags






The flickering hope of adoption was once again a flame. 

First,
we met with our foster worker to re-open our license for domestic adoption. 
No problem! 
Then we think to ourselves, "Why not apply for international adoption too?"
  Leave no stone unturned!  Our son or daughter could be anywhere!

Now
I don't know if this decision was communicated between the two adoption departments,
but we never heard another word about our foster license again.
NOT.A.WORD.
  Meanwhile, our application for international adoption was accepted
and the wheels begin to roll in that direction.



Next difficult decision--what country
Each country has a different set of requirements.
After doing some research and asking ourselves some tough questions,
we felt led to adopt from Ethiopia.

 Red Flag Number ONE--the initial Ethiopia application was denied.
  I had filled in too many "no" blanks in the section
where you agree to accept health risks.
  I  honestly did not know what half of the diseases were,
so "no" seemed like the safe answer. 
Apparently ignorance is never the safe answer. 
After our ever so patient adoption worker explained the issues and we willingly accepted the possible risks, 
our second application attempt was accepted.


Red Flag Number TWO--we felt uneasy. 
Have you ever had that feeling
when you want to believe something to be true and right,
so you just keep telling yourself that it is,
but every time you think it 
or say it out loud,
you squirm a little inside?

Yep.  That was us and Ethiopia.

I can't tell you how discouraged we were at this point.
  I mean really.  
Again?
 
   Our minds were mush. We hit the brakes.


 I emailed our worker with some questions. 
She responded with words that became a turning point in our journey.
"I would certainly recommend viewing our waiting kids if you have not already."

What?
 Wait a minute.
  Why did she say that?
What about Ethiopia?

I blew it off as a passing remark.
  At this point,
the Mr. and I don't even want to think about it or talk about it.
  So we don't, at least not to each other.

Two weeks went by without much ado,
but we were both individually finding adoption
in our face everywhere we turned.
  The radio, the paper, magazines, conversations, blogs, facebook, television, you name it.
We may have hit the brakes, but God didn't.
 
  I kept thinking about looking at the kids on the waiting list.
I had looked before.
  Maybe I should just look again.
  No harm there.


So I did.



And there he was.



Monday, May 23, 2011

Almost a post!

24 hours a day has not been long enough lately.  
I know I am not alone in saying that the month of May
has been ridiculously busy.
Zoinks!  

Something has to give.
Blogging is the first thing on the chopping block for this busy momma.


So here's the thing.

Tonight I've got 45 minutes to whip out adoption journey Chapter Seven.

I'm gonna go from January 2011 to the present day in 45 minutes, people.

I know!

You're just hanging on to the edge of your seat now wondering, "Can she do it?"

Or maybe you just want me to get on with it already.

Okay, okay..here goes!


I'm sorry, can you hang on a minute.
  I have to quick say goodnight to Jacob.



There. I'm back. 



Just a second,
Todd wants to talk something over. 


Okay, I'm back again.
 

 I just looked at the clock and realized that Gabby is waiting for me to come in and pray and say goodnight. I'll be right back.




There. 

 I stopped by Hanna's room too.

She reminded me that I need to get to bed on time.

Why? 

Because earlier today I had announced that I must get to bed on time tonight.

Why?
 
Because I was so tired that I crashed on the couch in the middle of a beautiful Monday afternoon.
 I slept with one ear open.
And it was noisy.
  Kids were playing.
The dog was barking.
I even answered questions.
(Yes, moms can communicate without opening the eyes or saying a word.)



Finally, the house is quiet.

I can have a complete thought without interuption.

Or maybe not.

That 45 minutes of blog time is long gone.

Gone!
Pasado!
Gegaan!
Weg!
Andato!
Abiit!

Yep.  Anyway you say it, it's gone.

And.

so.

am.

I.


GOODNIGHT!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Chapter Six : The Year of Confusion



The last chapter ended with a broken heart.  
As we tried to process all that had happened,
seeds of doubt found fertile soil in our heads and hearts.

Maybe we had failed.
Maybe it was God's way of telling us "no."
  Maybe the "door" had closed.
Maybe we never should have started.

Maybe...maybe...maybe...

Wondering 
always gets me into a heap of trouble.
Always.

It is a huge stumbling block.
 Here is my own special recipe:
wondering + worrying + wrestling = confusion + doubt + fear.

I don't recommend.

And so we wandered together through almost a year of confusion. The months went by with only one foster referral coming our way.  That one referral was an obvious "no" this time.  More and more foster training packets were delivered. They sat collecting dust as we let our license expire--not intentionally, mind you. We were frustrated, dazed, and confused.  Soon we found ourselves stuck in a rut of doubt and fear, not going anywhere. After all, it was getting kinda' comfortable here in this rut.  Kinda' safe.  Kinda' easy,  like setting life on cruise control.  If God really wanted us to do this it wouldn't have been so hard. It would have had a happy ending. He would have given a clearer path. 

Right?



Retelling this part of our journey gives me a whole new appreciation for this:
"The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love." ~Psalm 103:8
                  

Thankfully, the Lord is compassionate and gracious, and He led me to attend a new-to-me Bible study where He proceeded to give me the big old kick in the pants I needed. And this verse, my friends, was my personal wake up call from the Word:

"Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.  Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do."~James 1:22-25
 

OUCH.  
God's Word clearly tells us to care for orphans and widows. 
We knew that God had called us to care through adoption.  Yet, things didn't go the way we had planned, and God didn't give us all the answers we thought we needed to continue. So what did we do? We looked to our own limited understanding and found confusion and doubt, forgetting "what we had heard." We were so easily tempted to guard our lives from more pain and to find comfort and joy in the "transitory things of this world " instead.

Not cool.



"DO WHAT IT SAYS."
PERIOD.
Couldn't be any clearer than that. 

God continued to drive the point home everywhere we turned.
This video in particular just...well, you'll have to watch it to understand.





"We are just privileged to answer His call."
~Jackie Pullinger

We don't need all the answers.
  We don't need guarantees.
We don't need to know the plan.
We don't need to fear pain or sacrifice.
 What we need is FAITH.
Just answer the call.
"Do what it says."


GO!!





Puggle picture by Hanna!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Squeaky Mom.

I am plum worn out and ragged at the edges.
Allergies have taken my voice captive, leaving me with nothing.
Well, I shouldn't say nothing.  I can squeak.

My children call all through the house for me, but I can't answer.
Heh, heh, heh.
This feature is actually quite nice.

But seriously.
Parenting with squeaky whispers just isn't working.
I've got WAY to much to say during the day with these four goofballs around.



Things like...

"Tomorrow.  Spell the word tomorrow."


"Yay Gabby!  You made an electromagnet!"

"Just one more page to go, Josie!"

"How did you do on your Algebra test, Hanna?"

"Whoa, Jacob!  Stir slowly!"

"Yes Josie, you and your friends may have a tea party."

"Whose day is it to take Toby for a walk?"

"Hanna, could you get a picture of this for me?"

"Do NOT go in there!"

"Will you two please be careful up there?"

"WHAT??? Seriously???"

 "Hanna, do NOT even think about it!"
  
"On your mark. Get set. GO!"

SHEESH!
  No wonder I'm tired.
You guys wear me out.

Buy ya' know what?
I wouldn't change a thing.

Except, I would like my voice back please. 
Because there's one more thing I want to say.

 "I love you,
 and you,
and you!"

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Some Things I'd Like to Thank You For.


Here Mommy, this flower is for you.
This Mother's Day I'd like to thank you for 
some of the things I never thanked you for.



    For making us eat our vegetables. 

     For growing our vegetables.

    For teaching us how to work.

       For doing too much by yourself.

For baking angel food birthday cakes with the sweetest vanilla frosting ever known to mankind.

For just the right birthday presents.

For taking a family Christmas picture, 
whether we liked or not.

For shopping for and wrapping up 
all those Christmas presents. 
And then cleaning up our mess.


For getting five children ready for church every Sunday morning and every Sunday night.

For sending us to Christian school with really awesome lunchboxes.

For countless hours in that teeny tiny kitchen.

For feeding us Sunday meals every day of the week.

For packing our picnics

and taking us to beautiful places
and on rare vacations.

   For cats and dogs, fish and birds. 
For reptiles, rabbits, and rodents.


 For sewing dresses,















for music lessons,
and for homework help.

For baby dolls and bedtime stories at the end of a very long day.


And for all the things that can't be found in photographs,
Thank you.
Your children arise and call you blessed.

Mom, 
you were a Proverbs 31 mother and wife. 
I pray that you have received 
"the reward she has earned" (vrs.31).

Friday, May 6, 2011

Keeping Promises


I don't remember ever waiting so long for spring.

It's May already! Can we please have some warmth around here?

No wonder my southern sister won't come back.

I'm about ready to pack up and join her.

Can you tell I'm a little out of sorts,
a bit anxious,
dare I say...
cranky-ish-ly waiting for spring?



Or, maybe it's the waiting
  for something else that's got me tied up in knots.
Something bigger.
Well, he's actually pretty small.
But it's big for him and it's big for us.
Yet, it's never too big for HIM: 
a promise: "Ah, Sovereign Lord, you have made the heavens and the earth 
by your great power and outstretched arm.
Nothing is too hard for you." Jer. 32:17

Maybe it's the waiting for guidance with the unanswered questions,
with the many moving pieces, with the uncertainty.

a promise: "In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps." Prov. 16:9

Maybe it's the waiting for provision with deadlines approaching,
fees accumulating, and more on the way.

a promise: "God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus."  Phil. 4:19


 
Actually, 
it's the asking for provision that's got me all unglued today.
See that cute little airplane ticker and donate button above?
It makes me nervous. 
It's there because we are sending out adoption support letters soon.
We are asking for help.
From family. From church. From friends. 
The fund raising begins.
I swear butterflies are hatching in my belly.


Like right before the starting buzzer of the state championship game.
Like right before the horse lunges through the starting gate.
Like right before you bungee jump off a bridge.
Okay, so I've never done any of those things.

But you get the point.
It's a wee bit scary.

Is it okay to feel a little unhinged?
I don't know.
I know what Josie would say.


"Silly Momma!"
a promise: "Do not be anxious about anything, but in prayer and petition, with thanksgiving present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." 
Philippians 4:4-6

We don't know what provisions God has planned.
But we know He has a plan.
HE PROMISED.
 "We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and our shield." Psalm 33:20