For those of you who haven't seen these sites yet, I wanted to draw your attention to them. I got most of them off of Amy B.'s blog. Do a little shopping and know they all go to a good cause. (Scroll down on my bar to find the ever-growing list). (Mother's Day is coming up soon!)
4/29/08--The day we made the call into Gladney to start the adoption process to bring "K" home. This brings up old feelings of sorrow, frustration, and doubt that has lain latent for a while. After we got the news in July that "K" ran away from the orphanage, I slipped into a "mini" depression. I couldn't understand why God would bring him into our lives and then take him away 3 months later. I wasn't even sure we should continue the pursuit of adoption of another child once we conceded that "K" wasn't going to be found (unless by some miracle). But once I "snapped out of it", I turned to the truths in God's word and rested in them---
Isaiah 55:8-9 says:
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the Lord. "And the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts."
Job 1:21 says:
"...the Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord."
Jeremiah 29:11 says:
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
I know His ways are so much better than my ways. I may not always understand why things happen, but I don't need to understand. I just need to trust that God has it all in His hands, in His control, and in His time. My job is to trust and obey and continue in the pursuit of the miracle of adoption that He has called us to. I pray &/or think about "K" almost daily. I pray for his protection. I pray he finds someone in the community to take him in and to show him love and compassion. If he does happen to make his way back to the orphanage, we were told that we would be the first to find out. But I realize that maybe my job for now is to be a prayer warrior "mom" to him while on this earth and then hope that someday I will see him in heaven. And life goes on. I continue to love and care for my family and pray for guidance during this entire adoption process. I know we are on the path God desires for us. It's not always a straight, clear-cut, easily laid-out path, but it is the one God wants us to travel. I know He is taking care of the details.
Psalm 10:14 says:
"But you, O God, do see trouble and grief; you consider it to take it in hand. The victim commits himself to you; you are the helper of the fatherless."
Another thought I wanted to throw out there while I'm on my "soap box":
When people find out we are adopting from Ethiopia, some have said, "Oh, that is so great! I could never do that!" My first gut reaction is to say, "If I can do it, so can you!", but instead, I have had to stop and remember, "Oh yeah, I thought the same thing not too long ago." God has put us on this long path to obedience and it has taken many years to get to where we are now. And we still have many more years to grow and mature in this "Long Obedience"--a lifetime in fact. (See Eugene Peterson's book from which our blog title came). God has directed our "baby steps" and has slowly revealed parts of His will for us on this journey. He has orchestrated our gifts and talents in conjunction with certain people He has placed on our path (from those we went to H.S. with, college with, church with, etc.) to get us to where we are on this journey now. I want to try and be humble and say "Don't give us the glory for this act of obedience, give it to God." But some small (prideful) part of me says "We are doing something most people haven't or won't do" and I then I start getting "self-righteous". I pray to God that He can help me with this pride and judgementalness. (Trying to be transparent here). I don't want to ever start patting myself on the back for this small act of obedience. So many people in this world are giving of themselves and sacrificing SO much more than we are. So, instead, I want to come to a place where I can feel "honored" and "humbled" that God would choose us to be used to show His glory. And then ask Him what MORE we can do for Him. I also want to use our experience to encourage and cheer others on to find out how they can glorify Him (and serve others) using their own special gifts & talents. We can ALL make a difference in this world in some way!
I may not be making sense, but all this to say, find out what your gifts and talents are, what your passions in life are, and then find out what God's purpose for your life is--and then ACT on it. Then you, too, can make a difference in someone's life. It may not be adoption; it could be something entirely different. It could just be being nicer to those around you. I could be that you give a compliment to someone without strings attached. It could be that you help someone move (the ultimate in helping others :). It could be a multitude of things....big or small. God sees it all and loves it when we "love our neighbor as ourselves."
So if you, too, are inclined to say, "I could NEVER do that," instead ask, "Lord show me how you CAN use me today to make a difference in someone's life. How can I please You and give You the glory today?"
"Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it for the glory of God." (1 Corinthians 10-11).
Ok. So I get all of my thoughts & inspiration while in the shower....about the only time (with 3 kids at home) I have alone so that I can think and process and compose a finished thought without being interrupted. So now I am hurriedly trying to compose those thougthts into a written post while they are busy playing (we take Fridays off of homeschool).
I was thinking about the fact that the "latest trend" in Hollywood amongst a few celebrities is to adopt children from Africa. (Although I don't follow the latest Hollywood gossip closely, I do go grocery shopping about twice a week usually and I see the magazine rack in the checkout line). ANYWAY, about it being a trend, I say "BRING IT ON!!" It should be a trend!! I hope it becomes so much of a trend that we no longer have any orphans left. (I know, wishful thinking, but I like to DREAM BIG!) God can use even those celebrities who don't know Him or care to know Him to bring about change, to create awareness, to stir people's hearts into action, and to ultimately show His face in the love that follows, the service that is ignited, and the glory that shines through His children FOR HIM and TO HIM!! Even though this is not the catalyst that brought us to the decision to adopt, I was aware of it (Angelina & Brad specifically) and it showed me that if they can do it, we CERTAINLY can do it too! So let's get on the bandwagon & start a "trend" for HIS glory and for HIS children around the world.
Ok. I am very new to all this blogging business and I'm trying to figure out how to "join the club", get connected and get to know all of you Ethiopia Adoption bloggers out there. If you are reading this, please let me know you are out there! Would love to hear from you. I am also trying to figure out how to make contact with those of you I have been "stalking". I love reading all of your blogs and have quickly become "addicted".
I just wanted to point out how I feel God is working in the details even when we sometimes question--- "what are we doing?" "why are we doing this?" "can we handle this?" "is this the right thing to do?" "Is God with us in this process?"
He always gives me a resounding "YES!! You CAN do this with My help, it IS right, and I am right here with you!!" I know because it says in His Word over and over again that we are to care for widows & orphans, but also because, more personally, He has placed significant hurdles in this adoption process right ON specific/significant dates:
So how did we come to the decision to adopt? It goes back to the beginning of our marriage almost 15 years ago. My DH majored in Chinese in college, had a love for the Chinese culture, and was beginning to have a love for missions as a new believer. In our "family planning" discussions, he would ask me what I felt about adopting from China since (back then) the girls were being discarded right and left. I wasn't sure at the time, but THE SEED WAS PLANTED. However, I feared I might not be able to love an adopted child as much as if we had our own biological child, and wanted to try having kids the "traditional" way first. So we did. We had a girl, a boy, and then another girl. Adoption was put on the back-burner for many years. Since we already had 2 girls, adopting a girl from China was also less of an option. And life went on. Then, last Nov. 2007, THE SEED WAS WATERED when we found out our dear friends in Kansas were going to adopt a teenage girl from Ethiopia. We had been receiving email updates on their process and had been praying for them and cheering them on along their journey. It wasn't until April 2008 that THE SEED SPROUTED for us. Our dear friends from Kansas forwarded an email from their dear friend who was in Ethiopia at that time to bring home their teenage daughter. Her name is Krista. She wrote of a specific little boy in one of the orphanages who became attached to her during her entire visit to this orphanage. They shared many tears together during their time together, and she continued to promise she would try to find a forever family for him. After reading her email and crying most of the day myself, the kids and I talked about what life must be like over there and how hard it must be to grow up without a family. Suddenly my then 8 yr. old daughter asked, "Why can't we be a family for him?" And I said, "I don't know why not!" So I called my DH at work and told him about the email, told him my heart's desire... to be a family to this little boy (around 7 years old), and asked what he thought. He didn't even hesitate! He said, "Let's do it!!" So, as you can see from our "Adoption Timeline" the bumpy road began. Just 3 months after starting paperwork to bring this little boy ("K") home, he ran away from the orphanage he was in through a hole in the back wall. So, we hired a PI to try and find him (like trying to find a needle in a haystack), but there was no luck. We had one lead about 6 weeks into the search, but we think K got scared and never came back to the spot he was sighted at. He had no idea that a family from America wanted to adopt him, however. So he ran again out of fear and hasn't been back to that orphanage since. We still pray for K, but after 3 months of searching, we decided to pursue a younger child. It was a very difficult decision. We had become very "attached" to K, and we even had pictures of him to "pour" over. Not long after he disappeared, we had also received his "medical write-up" along with pictures and personal info on him. It was very heartbreaking to let him go. But we know God works all things together for good to those who trust and believe in Him. So we obey and continue in the pursuit of His will---even through all the doubts and fears and questioning. And now we wait.........
Hello friends, family, strangers all! I have decided to join the world of blogging due to an increased awareness of the connectedness it allows matched with the need I have to share with other adoptive families who have, are in the process of, or are going to in the future bring a child home from Ethiopia. This has been a long process for us already, but much "fruit" has been produced along the way. Please join us as we chronicle this journey for ourselves, our future son and for all those interested in this process called adoption. I have much "back-tracking" to do, but I won't bore you with all of it in one post. I will try to do it in increments. So, stay tuned!