Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Well, here is a new picture of Micah taken just 10 days ago. We can see him growing right before our eyes as we have been fortunate enough to get new pictures almost every month since we accepted his referral. It's hard to believe that he will be 10 months old in just 6 days. He looks a little sad to me here, but maybe he just woke up from a nap. At least he is wearing blue jammies instead of pink. :) I want to just grab him up and give him a big kiss on those cheeks. I can also see two tiny little teeth poking through on the bottom. What a precious little gift we have been given.
Through all the doubts, fears, questions, frustrations, waiting, etc., all I have to do is look at this little face, and the Lord calms my heart. Bringing Micah home is the favorite thing that I am looking forward to in 2009. I am hoping and praying for quick news from the judge when the courts reopen in January. The Lord has continued to be faithful and this Christmas has provided us with some unexpected funds from friends and family to go toward our travel expenses. We are just trusting that it will all be there when it is time to go get our little boy! :)
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Merry Christmas! We had such a wonderful Christmas today. There was beautiful weather outside, we ate an awesome lunch at Ma-maw's and we had the whole day to just be with family! Although my husband, David, and my daughter don't feel well, it was nice to just be together all day with no plans and no place to be! We all opened our stockings this morning and talked about what we are going to do for stockings next year when Micah comes. Our stocking holders spell out PEACE and we will need another spot! Also, his stocking won't match the ones we have now. I've actually checked out some patterns and I think I am going to try making some...we'll see how that turns out. :)
David and I do stockings for each other every year and this year, I found this Willow Tree Angel inside. It is called "Angel's Embrace" and is a little angel holding a small child. He told me it was for Micah. Since Micah could not be with us today, we like to think that his guardian angel was holding and hugging him for us this Christmas. The inscription says, "Hold close that which we hold dear." I was doing ok today, trying not to think about Micah not being with us, until I read this. Well, next Christmas, Lord willing, we will be celebrating Christ's birth with 4 children!
Monday, December 15, 2008
Now, we wait for a court date. We are not notified of the date because it can be scheduled and then re-scheduled several times before the judge actually hears the case. However, on the court date, the orphange attorney will represent our family in court and then the judge should sign the guardianship papers!
It is impossible to know when, but my prayer is that we would be able to travel and get Micah by his first birthday which would be on March 5th. It does seem unlikely when you look at time-lines. I have also learned not to get your hopes up because so much in adoption is unpredictable. However, my Father is a God of miracles and I have felt in my heart for a while that He is working on our behalf to bring Micah home to us very soon! So...we continue to pray and give thanks!
Saturday, December 13, 2008
|Well, it's officially 12 days till Christmas! I think that this is when it's hard as a kid to wait. Christmas is soooo close, yet so far away. :) We have several Christmas traditions that we do for the 12 days till Christmas that help us count down the days. I thought that I would share them here with you...|
I am a pretty calm and patient person I think. A lot of the mom's on the forum say that their husbands are the calm, patient ones, but I guess in our family it is reversed. I think, however, I have just begun to feel the anxious excitement that you feel as you count down to Christmas. Micah is soooo close, yet still so far away. We really only have 4 major steps left, but it could all happen in January, or it could still be months away. With adoption, there is no way to tell. So, I thought I would share with you what we are counting down on the adoption and ask you to pray for us this Christmas as we are waiting for Micah.
I love this time of year...the Christmas music and lights, the decorations, the worship focused on Christ's birth, giving gifts to others, the food, the Starbucks gift cards...! :) I hope that you are having a wonderful Christmas season with your families.
Friday, December 5, 2008
|Yeah! Today Micah is 9 months old! It was kind of neat that yesterday I got an update on his size. He is currently (according to the orphanage in India) a whopping 15 1/2 pounds. He is the exact size of Laurel, the little girl that I babysit, and she is 6 months old. :) I gave her an extra hug today just to imagine that I was hugging Micah. It's going to be a long December I'm afraid with nothing much happening in the courts. I hope that when the courts reopen and the judge gets back to work in January, that he starts the ball rolling quickly. I want to hug little Micah for real. :) |
Nathan, my 4-year old son who is very much a momma's boy, is still going back and forth. I'm wondering if he will be ready for Micah. Some nights while I am sitting by his bed waiting for him to fall asleep, he will say, "Mommy, when are you going to get Micah? I want him to be here." Then there are days like the week of Thanksgiving. I didn't have to watch Laurel that week and on Monday he asked, "Mommy, where's Laurel?" I told him that she was going to be staying with her mommy that week and then he said, "Good." I asked him why he didn't want her to be with us and he answered, "Because she cries and wants you. I want to be the only one who loves you." :) That almost made me cry. It's made me a little nervous too. I don't want him to resent Micah joining our family. Maybe once January comes and we start trying to get his room ready to share with Micah, he'll be more on board. I guess it's good that I have been babysitting too...maybe Micah's homecoming won't be such a rude awakening.
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Saturday, November 29, 2008
|This Thanksgiving weekend, as terrorists attacked hotels and restaurants frequented by American and British tourists, I felt in some small way, connected to what was happening there in Mumbai, India. That was kind of strange for me...feeling a connection to a place where I have never been and to a people I have never seen. Now, anything I read on India in the magazines, newspapers, or see on the news, I stop and pay attention. Before it was easy to ignore...someplace far away with no connection to me. It is funny how a little child can change your heart and your life even when you have never met. In our case now, it is two little children.|
MICAH, of course, is the first child...our little boy in Kolkata. Thankfully he is nowhere near what happened this weekend. Mumbai is on the southwestern coast and Kolkata is near the northeastern coast. However, it is his home country and one that I will be visiting soon and that makes it so much more personal for me. I am all the more anxious now to get to him and bring him home so that at least we are all together and I can try my best to keep him safe.
GANTHIMATHY, is the second child. She is our little Compassion sponsored child and she actually lives south of Mumbai. We were hoping to be able to visit her when we go to pick up Micah, but now we are uncertain if travel will be safe for us in that area. All weekend I could not help but think of her and her family and pray that they would remain safe. I am also praying that they will come to know the Lord in a personal way, so that in the face of the danger and poverty they face on a daily basis, they will know that God is holding them in His hands.
My heart is full. I have so much to be thankful for. Today, I am thanking God for 2 small Indian children I have not met...yet!
Monday, November 17, 2008
|Thank you, Lord! Today I received notice that we have been granted our NOC approval! This is the document we need from CARA, the main adoption agency in Delhi, stating that we have been approved to adopt a child from India. Now, our paperwork will head back to Kolkata and Anju, the orphanage director at ISRC, will compile all of our documents and then the attorneys will scrutinize our documents. Once this is completed, the scrutinized documents and our file go back to ISRC and a court date is set for our legals. The judge will prayerfully move quickly to sign the guardianship papers making us Micah's legal guardians (hence the name legals). That is the last major step before we start planning our travel! After we are granted guardianship, the "legals" are taken to the US Embassy so that Micah's Visa and Passport can be applied for. Then we can travel! Yeah!|
If you would like to know what you can pray for right now...pray for the attorneys and the judge to keep signing and pushing things right along. The courts close down for the month of December for all the Indian holidays, so the quicker our paperwork gets scrutinized and on the judge's desk the better. :)
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Sunday, November 2, 2008
Thursday, October 23, 2008
I just wanted to post a picture of the new book I am ordering for my kiddos! In preparation for Micah's arrival, we are all trying to learn a little more about India and it's culture! This book is an Usborne book and so far I have loved every one that I have gotten. They are beautifully illustrated and educational children's books. I am excited to get my copy and read it with my kiddos.
The description of the book says, "Enter a magical world of monkey gods, brave heros, 10-headed monsters, and clever animals. Their antics are brought to life in these engaging retellings of traditional Indian tales."
Of course I do not believe in monkey gods and 10-headed monsters, but it should be a fun way to start getting some of that colorful Indian heritage into our lives. :)
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Friday, October 17, 2008
Yeah! Dillon, our adoption agency, mailed our paperwork to India this morning! Now we just sit back and wait for them to notify us that our NOC paperwork has been granted. I know that we are in the same boat as a couple of other families who are also waiting on their NOC paperwork right now. Once our paperwork arrives at the orphanage, they prepare it to be sent to CARA, the central agency in Delhi. This usually takes about 2-4 weeks. Once at CARA it can take 2-4 months for NOC to be granted. This may take us a little longer since the courts close down in India for the whole month of December for the Indian holidays. However, I am confident the Lord can remove any obstacle in our path to bringing our little boy home.
Several families have mentioned that this can be the most frustrating part of our adoption journey. Having a face, pictures, video, etc. and not being able to go get our little boy. It does not help the waiting either to know that there is nothing in the world you can do to speed the process along with the judges in India. I am kind of thankful that the holidays are coming up quickly. I will be busy with my other children, and maybe the time will pass more quickly. :)
Thursday, October 16, 2008
I also love this t-shirt! Compassion has a huge Global Food Crisis network that is helping around the world, but especially in Africa where the food shortage is killing thousands every day. This particular shirt says "Please" in Bengali and the proceeds go to the Global Food Crisis fund! I am not a shopper, but I love buying things if I know the $ is actually going to a cause that will change or save lives! They have the same shirt in 3 other languages, but I wanted to show this one since my heart is in India right now. :) You can purchase it at store.compassion.com.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
|I finally get to report that we mailed our acceptance paperwork today back to Dillon, our adoption agency. I am frustrated that it took me almost a month to get everything signed, copied, notarized and ready to mail. I know that I could not have done it any sooner though. There were too many factors going on in our lives the last 3 weeks. |
And the list goes on. :) Oh, well. It's all in the Lord's hands anyway. At least we have it out of our hands and hopefully by Monday our paperwork will be on it's way to India so that we can begin to watch for our NOC approval. Several other families are very close to the same spot we are, so maybe some of us will be traveling around the same time!
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
This photo was taken in August. My baby looks so sad to me. :( I know that he did not realize and we did not realize the gift that God was planning for both of us just one month later. Now we have been given to each other and I long to be able to lift him out of that rusty, white, paint-chipped crib forever! A couple of our friends from the forum, the Werre family and the Philllips family (their links are here on my site) will be traveling hopefully in November to pick up their children. They promise to take some more pictures, so hopefully we will have some updated ones soon.
I read a quote yesterday by Kirk Cameron's wife, Chelsea. They have adopted 4 children and then had two of their own. She said, "There is a miracle in adoption that people don't realize until they do it!" I so agree! We have experienced some miracles already. I believe that my life has been changed forever, just by the beginning of this adoption process. I know the end will change it even more...for the better. If nothing else, this adoption has shown us that we can trust the Lord. He is faithful and miracles do happen even today!
Thursday, October 2, 2008
Our little ones name is Utsab or Utsav (apparently the same name with interchangeable spelling). We cannot find a meaning for Utsab, although we know it is a popular Bollywood movie in India right now. :) Utsav, means "celebration!" How perfect is that?! At least he has his second middle name. Now we just have to come up with the rest of it! We can't call him "little boy" for the next 6 months. :)
Timelines...so unpredictable in adoption. They do try, however, to give you a general idea. The gist of what has to happen next is...
- Acceptance paperwork to India
- Our case is reviewed and sent to CARA the Central Adoption Agency in Delhi (2-4 weeks)
- CARA reviews case and awards NOC (No Objection Certificate) (2-4 months)
- Case goes to Kolkata courts for scrutinization of documents and guardianship hearing for "legals" (2-3 months or longer)
- Legals used to apply for child's passport (4-6 weeks)
Adoption is not for the faint of heart or those with no patience! We are not wasting away, however! :) We are doing as Steven Curtis Champman's song suggests and "enjoying this moment!"
David and I are still in shock I guess you could say. If fact, we've been terrified this week for some reason. Not about our little boy, but just the whole adoption thing in general. We were not expecting to get a referral call till January or February. Up until this point, nothing has seemed real. We've done alot of paperwork, paid alot of money, but pretty much just gone on with our lives and family just as is. Now, suddenly with one phone call, our whole world changes. There is actually a real little boy involved now...we have a face and a name. Suddenly, with a "yes" or a "no", everyone's lives are about to change forever! A scary decision, but a joyous one if that makes sense.
We have not decided on a name yet. Our family vote last night left us with 4 different names to choose from. :) I guess stay tuned. We won't have to decide officially until we bring him back to the states to finalize the adoption. So, what now? Now we begin the next big paperwork trail...the one that goes to India and then we sit and wait again on the courts. For now, we are just cherishing the thought of this little boy joining our family! It may take up to 6 months, but soon this precious little boy will have a home and a last name!
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
The new question at RLC is..."What verse or passage of scripture has touched you or changed your thoughts on poverty and how the Lord sees it and responds to it?"
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
|Hooray! Today we got our I-171H in the mail! We have been waiting on it for 6 months. It is our paperwork from USCIS, immigration, stating that we have been approved to bring an orphan into the US! It doesn't really change anything in our process. However, it does mean that there is finally some paperwork on its way to CARA, the central adoption agency in New Delhi, India, stating that our family has been approved to adopt from there! Yeah! One more thing I can check off of my list! :)|
Friday, September 19, 2008
Just a note. We did have a fun day...lunch at Chick-fil-a (his favorite), a trip to pick out a balloon bouquet and goody bag stuffings, and then the fateful trip to Wal-mart to pick up the birthday cake. That ended up with a fall from the cart, an unexpected trip to the pediatricians office, and a broken nose. I guess we will have great pictures and great memories of this 4th birthday! Of course he told everyone we met today that Mommy broke his nose. :)
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Some of you have been asking, "So what does this mean in your timeline?" Well, there really is no way to know. Adoption truly is a journey filled with surprise twists and turns around every corner. If every family in front of us wants a girl, then we would be next in line for a little boy. Of course, that is not likely...just wishful thinking. :) We could receive a referral in two weeks, or it could be January or February. Once we do receive a referral for a specific little boy, however, then the wait is an average of 4-6 months waiting for the judges in India to grant the documents necessary to travel and pick up our little boy. All the offices in India shut down during the months of October and December to celebrate their holidays. We are in the same boat with many of our Dillon friends hoping that the judges will keep processing that paperwork so that our children can get home to their forever families!
Saturday, September 6, 2008
I'm not sure, but I am thinking that our little boy in India is either getting ready to be born, or has been already. Either way, it makes my heart ache to think that he is already formed in the image of God, and God is preparing for him to join us soon.
Watching my sister with my niece also made me think of my son's birth mom. I sometimes wonder what she is doing right now. What has she gone through to get her to this point? What is she feeling as she is placing her little boy up for adoption? No matter what the circumstances, it has to break a mother's heart.
I am so excited to have my niece finally here with us so that we can hold her and kiss her little cheeks. :) I can't wait till I can hold my new son and kiss his precious cheeks too!
Sunday, August 31, 2008
|I am reading an AWESOME book that I wanted to comment on. I hope that everyone will go get a copy to read. The book is called "Red Letters" by Tom Davis. I purchased the book from a discount place online, but if you purchase the book in a regular store, a portion of the proceeds goes to help orphans in Africa!|
The book shares about the pandemic of HIV/AIDS and how it is affecting children all over Africa. It also asks the question, "Why is the church sitting idly by and letting this destruction happen?" It is so thought provoking and heart wrenching. I love how the author describes it...
"So why don't we do more to help others? Sadly, many of us live in a world of shadows. In the realm of shadows, we seek only those things that help us remain in the fog of comfort and safety."
Wow! That so describes me sometimes. I often find myself overwhelmed with the problems around the world, or the ones I'm dealing with here, and find myself retreating into my safe, comfortable little world where I don't have to think about it and don't have to respond.
I know the Lord is trying to gently pursuade me to quit living in the shadows...I feel like I am taking baby steps. I wonder where they will lead? :)
Sunday, August 24, 2008
Today, I was thinking about his song and the fact that a three year old knows what an ipod is and how it works. :) I thought...I can't wait till our son comes home from India. I think about everything he will get to experience and the opportunities he will have that millions of orphans will never get to experience. Only God knows what the future holds. I am so excited right now to be able to share this time with my kiddos and I can't wait till our other son finally joins us. :)
Thursday, August 21, 2008
|I was listening today to my ipod while I was cleaning house. :) I heard a song that I don't remember hearing before, but it's lyrics really caught my ear. It was a song by Steven Curtis Chapman on his This Moment cd. It was called "One Heartbeat At A Time." This is a song for every mother out there! The words to the verses are great and the chorus is such a sweet reminder to keep doing what we are doing. :) It encouraged me this morning, so I thought I'd share the lyrics with you and let you know you need to download this song to your ipods. :) |
You're up all night with a screaming baby
You run all day at the speed of life
And every day you feel a little bit less
Like the beautiful woman you are
So you fall into bed when you run out of hours
And you wonder if anything worth doing got done
Oh, maybe you just don't know
Or maybe you've forgotten
You, you are changing the world
One little heartbeat at a time
Making history with every touch and every smile
Oh, you, you may not see it now
But I believe that time will tell
How you, you are changing the world
One little heartbeat at a time
With every, "I know you can do it"
And every tear that you kiss away
So many little things that seem to go unnoticed
They're just like drops of rain
Over time they become a river
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
|OK. I just have to share this with you. In his interview with Larry King, Steven Curtis was asked to explain about bread crumbs...something a counselor had shared with their family. He told how after Maria's death they kept saying, "We can't SEE why, Lord. Show us!" Then, after leaving the hospital, they walked into the house and saw on the art table, a picture of a flower that Maria had drawn. It had 6 petals and only one petal was colored in. There are 6 children in the family and Maria had already gone to be with the Lord when they found the picture. On the top of the photo she had written the word SEE. This was a word she had never written before and they didn't know that she even knew how. They said they knew this was a "bread crumb" from the Lord to them as they are walking on this journey toward their true home where they will join Maria (the colored in petal) who is truly whole now. Wow!|
So, yesterday we received our reimbursement check in the mail from the organization my husband teaches for during the summer months while he is off school. Usually it takes several months to receive his reimbursements for expenses and they usually come in one at a time in smaller amounts. It was so strange when I opened the mail. It was a lump sum check for the 5 seminars he taught this summer. We were not even expecting the check to arrive till September sometime. David and I were so excited. Now we could finally send a check to our adoption agency for the remainder that we owe them up to this date! I stopped and thanked the Lord for His goodness and provision for us.
This afternoon, I turned in my devotional book and the key verse for today was..."My God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:19 There was a bread crumb for me today! :) A visible reminder that He is watching over us...we do not have to walk this path alone. And, until we are home someday...together at last...His grace is sufficient (2 Corinthians 12:9) and His mercies are new each morning (Lamentations 3:22-23)!
Thursday, August 7, 2008
|One of the new blog buzz questions of the week is..."If compassion means, "to suffer with," how do we attach ourselves to the suffering of the poor? What does it look like and how do we implement it into our lives?"|
Wow. I was not sure about this one. It really got me to thinking. You know I don't suffer WITH or FOR the poor. Should I be? How would I do that? I began to think about what it means to suffer. I "suffer" when our air goes out and I am hot. I "suffer" with hunger pains when I don't get to eat right away. I "suffer" when we have used up my husband's pay check for the two weeks and we don't get paid for another 5 days. I realize that I am very blessed.
The Lord began to whisper to my heart that "to suffer with" the poor and to show true compassion, it should cost me something...it should be life-changing. In America today, we are so blessed and really count the cost when something affects our lives, our time, our comfort zones, or our wallets. Now, my husband and I sponser a child in poverty from India through Compassion International and I love their ministry...but, it doesn't cost me anything. One time eating out with my family pays for the month for my child. That is NOT suffering for the poor. The Lord brought 2 passages of scripture to my mind.
First, I Chronicles 21:18-27. David wanted to offer a sacrifice to the Lord to protect his people, but he was away from home and didn't have a place to set up an alter. He found a man with a threshing floor and asked for permission to buy the site. The man offers to give it to David for free, along with animals for the sacrifice. What I love is David's reply. "...I will not take for the Lord what is yours, nor offer burnt offerings that cost me nothing."
Second, Matthew 19:16-22. A rich young ruler is wanting eternal life and lets the Lord know that he has kept all the commandments. The Lord knows his heart and so tells him, "If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven, and come, follow me." The sad thing is, the young man turns down the invitation to help the poor and follow Jesus because..."he had great possessions."
Now, to make it personal. I would have to say that our decision to adopt is probably the first thing we have ever done that has caused us to sacrifice our control, our comfort zones, our time, our finances, and will definitely change our lives forever. We have had to lay everything at the Lord's feet and say, "Lead us and we will follow." Now, I know that everyone cannot adopt a child. (Although, I must throw in a thought of my own that many more people CAN adopt than WILL. Usually when I am talking to someone about adoption the common responses are, "We don't have the money, or we don't feel comfortable with it." Both, I believe just mean we are not willing to sacrifice for this, and or we don't believe God is big enough to change our hearts and fill our wallets. Then my precious husband has to remind me that I am not the Holy Spirit for everyone else. :) However, I believe anyone can find a way to truly sacrfice financially, or give up precious time, or leave comfort zones, to make an impact in the life of someone else who has nothing. And, I can say for a fact that it will change lives! Are you up for the challenge? :)
Friday, August 1, 2008
I have heard many stories of the woes people who are adopting run into with the various government agencies. You try so hard to get all your paperwork together and done correctly and in on time, and then some unknown person in some unfamiliar government agency messes things up and you realize once again...you are not in control of this process called adoption. This week, we have come across a stumbling block of our own...although one I hope that can be quickly corrected. Immigration is saying that they have not yet received our home study and so they have not sent us our I-171H. For those of you who don't know what that is, don't worry, we don't either. :) We just know that it is another form we have to have and one that must go to India. The problem is that we DID send them our home study and it was in the same packet with the application we filed with them before we were fingerprinted. All that jumbled mess to say this...Aaaaaahhhhhhh! O.k. I know we will get it taken care of, but it is frustrating to have them lose something we worked so hard to get together. So, I am just praying that they will find our home study and I will rest in the fact that although I am not in control...and that is very hard for me...my God is. :)
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Then, the Lord reminded me that this adoption was His idea for our family and He would be the one to provide. In the beginning, I had told the Lord that I didn't want to ask for money or go into debt for the adoption, when I knew that He was ready and willing to provide. He has whispered to me..."There is nothing you can do. Sit back, wait patiently, and see what I will do to bring my child home to you." And He is...little by little through His unexpected sweet blessings like...
This week after my husband had finished teaching a summer seminar, a woman whom he has taught with off and on over the last couple of years (a woman whom I have never met) put something in his pocket and told him it was for our adoption. He protested, but she said this was something she wanted to do. After he left that afternoon, he looked and it was a check for the whole amount of money she had made that day teaching the seminar with him. And so, I am reminded...my Heavenly Father will make a way!
Sunday, July 20, 2008
Another family has accepted a referral, so we have moved up to #7 on the list! Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! :) It gives me butterflies in my stomach knowing that we are getting closer. I realize we will probably still have a while...but God's timing is not our own. :) I would love to have a referral before Thanksgiving since everything in India shuts down in November and December for their holidays. We were initially told it could be 5-6 months for a referral and then it changed to 8-10 months. December will mark the 8th month for us on the list, so...we will just continue praying that everything will continue to move forward. In the meantime, I will just sit back and relish #7 for a while and watch with anticipation those families who have finally received their referrals and have begun their wait on the paperwork trail in India.
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Yeah! We just got the news today that several referrals have gone through now that ISRC in India has received their renewal liscense and we have jumped from #13 to #8 on the referral list!
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
|This year, since I am at the point in the adoption process that all I can do it WAIT...I am determined to have all my Christmas shopping done by Thanksgiving! Last year, for the first time, I started buying some of my Christmas gifts online from Christian organizations. I fell in love with the idea of spending my money with an organization that uses the funds to help others instead of just throwing it away at Wal-mart. We bought magazines and books from Focus on the Family and Family Life. This year, I'd like to buy some T-shirts from Steven Curtis Chapman's "Show Hope" site as well as "A HOPE for Children's" site. (both have links here on my site)|
I wanted to share though about a new organization I have come across that is part of the larger WMU organization. It is a non-profit organization that goes into other countries and teaches families job skills, business skills, etc. so that they can become independant and be able to support their families. They export the products to the USA and the profits go back to help the families. I have not ordered from the site yet, but I plan to order some stuff for Christmas and birthday gifts this year. You can pick and choose from about 20 different countries, and there is a lot to choose from that is affordable...$5 and up! I love the idea of giving my family something from India, the country where we are adopting! The site is Worldcraftsvillage.com. Check it out!
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
I read some awesome verses this morning that I thought were a great description of a life being "wrecked for the ordinary," so I had to share them.
Sunday, July 13, 2008
|The questions have been asked, "When were you wrecked for the ordinary?" and "How are you now?" Wow...I love that phrase. I have never really thought about it before in those terms, but I do know that my wreck took place last year...March 2007. My husband and I took a trip overseas together with some high school students. I didn't really have any expectations, I just expected everything to be the same as here in the USA. After all, we were going to be in very modern, civilized cities. I was shocked, however, at how much things are not the same. I was ashamed at how much comfort I am accustomed to and how much I just expect to have it that way. I'm not there yet, but my eyes were opened to how much I take for granted that others in this world will never experience.|
When we arrived back in the states, my husband and I finished a conversation that has been going on half-heartedly for years and we filed our application for international adoption in May. Through His Word, this adoption process, and our involvement with Compassion International, God has begun to open my eyes to the fact that I have spent my entire life clinging to the ordinary here on earth as if it is a treasure...and it does not satisfy. Matthew 6:21 says, "Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." I struggle with being comfortable in this world, wanting more, and seeking success in the world's eyes...but, I can truly say I want my heart to be where God's heart is.
In I Corinthians 4:2 it says, "Those who have been given a trust must prove faithful." I know that the Lord has given all His children a trust...to be faithful and obedient to His Word in caring for the stranger, the widow, the orphan, the fatherless, the poor. I love what I read this week in a devotional...
In the end, human judgement of our life's endeavors has no value; only God's opinion matters(vv. 3-4). Paul didn't worry about human verdicts on his leadership skills or ministry success, and he didn't make his own opinion primary either. His conscience was clean--but conscience is fallible. Only God is wise and perfect, so only His evaluation matters.
I would definitely say a life lived with this in mind would surely be a life "wrecked for the ordinary!"
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
ISRC in India has received their certification papers from CARA, the central adoption agency in India! My pot is beginning to boil! :) It will still be a while for everything to trickle down the line to those of us waiting, but at least the ball is rolling again! Yeah! Hopefully over the next couple of months we will begin moving up the waiting list. I am so excited for those who already have their referrals and are so close to being able to bring home their children. I pray the Lord allows them to be united with their forever families quickly!
I am in Colorado for the next week and a half visiting my family. All of my sisters are here (7 of us) and all of our children. I am loving watching all the kids play together and it is helping to keep me distracted for a while, but every now and then I think, "Wow! I can't wait until next year when my little one from India will be here with all of our other kids to join in all the love and chaos!"
Thursday, June 26, 2008
This verse "shouts out" to me that helping the poor is a very important thing to do if we want our prayers to be heard by the Lord! I am quick to think, "This verse does not apply to me. I care about the poor." Then, the Lord reminds me that "hearing" the cry of the poor is not enough. If I hear or see and do not act, I am in fact, closing my ears to the cry of the poor. James 1:22 says, "But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves."
So, what does the word tell us to do? Well, all throughout scripture the Lord shares with us where His heart lies...with the orphan, the widow, the fatherless, the stranger and those in prison. If we want to serve Christ and find His heart, we will serve the least of these. Matthew 25:31-46 shows us this very thing. When we feed the hungry, give water to the thirsty, welcome and clothe a stranger, visit the sick and those in prison, we are actually ministering to Christ himself! When we don't act on behalf of the least of these, we are actually looking into the heart of Christ and walking away.
I think everyone should adopt someone. We can all pray for the Lord to lay on our hearts a specific someone you can adopt...an orphan, a widow, a single mom and her children, a military mom, a stranger, a foreign exchange student, a neighbor, or prisoner...and we can HEAR and ACT!
Friday, June 20, 2008
|Wow, besides the whole adoption support thing, blogging is opening up a whole new world for me. :) I live such a sheltered life. Some of the mom's have started posting some blogs for a site called the RLC or Red Letter Campaign. The title is based on the book by Tom Davis, "Red Letters," which really hits home about LIVING out your faith. (This book is next on my list to read.) I have read his book "Fields of the Fatherless," which is amazing and a must read for everyone. Anyway, this site is a place to blog about issues of adoption, poverty, AIDS, etc. I guess I will be joining the ranks and each week I'll try to post a blog that answers one of the questions they are asking on their site. I'm not an expert on anything, by any means, but I don't mind sharing my thoughts, so we'll see how it goes. :)|
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
|Today I finished reading the book, "Secret Thoughts of an Adoptive Mother," by Jana Wolff. Aside from a few choice words, I loved the book. It was very open and honest and reflected some of the very same thoughts that I have begun to experience during this waiting time. I think that adoption education and adoption reading are beneficial, but it has been scary for me as well. I headed into adoption with very rosy glasses on I think...very sure of what we were doing and ready to go. Somewhere along the way, although I am still sure that adoption is God's choice for our family, doubts have crept in. I think it is probably the same for other adopting families. The biggest questions in my mind right now are, "Am I making the right decision to adopt internationally...a child from another race and culture?" And, "Will this choice cause my child problems as he grows up with parents who don't look like him and can't provide him with much of a sense of his culture?" |
Even as I question in my heart...those secret thoughts...my heart still lies with India. I still believe the Lord has directed us there. He has clearly closed the door to other countries for us and has opened the doors and supplied the needs as we have pursued this path. I once asked a dear friend and adoption advocate at the agency we used for our home study, "How can you know how to choose domestic, foster care, or international adoption without feeling guilty for not being able to do it all?" She told me that God places a specific burden for a specific kind of adoption on families hearts. She said to follow God's leading on my heart. I believe that God has a family in mind for every orphaned child if they would just listen and follow. So...we are following...in spite of the roller coaster of adoption emotion that has so recently become a part of my life. :)
Sunday, June 15, 2008
|I have been out of town for two weeks for the birth of my niece, Jenna...awesome...and just got back online tonight! I saw the news from our agency that ISRC in India has received their recertification approval! They are just waiting on the official paperwork and then hopefully the doors will reopen and the adoptions in process can move forward...maybe even this week! I am so excited for the families who are at the top of the list and have been waiting for what seems like forever. Of course I am excited for us as well, because the more referrals that go through means that we move up the list. :) |
I am glad to be back! I have missed my online adoption family and their support more than I knew I would.
Thursday, May 29, 2008
|Yeah! CARA, the central goverment adoption agency in India completed their walk-thru at our agency (ISRC, the Indian Society for the Recovery of Children) yesterday. It seemed to go well and they hope that this will be the last step before their certification is renewed. We are praying that the renewal will come quickly and then the courts can once again pick up the process and get some of our children to their forever families. Right now everything is on hold in the courts until the judges can see the renewal notice. I know that all of us on the list are optimistically hopefull that very soon the referrals will be quick and many in coming. It is comforting to know that our Heavenly Father is acting as an advocate on behalf of the fatherless!|
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
|As I read on the India Forum from our agency, and read the blogs of my new "internet friends," sometimes I catch a brief glimpse of the frustration and helplessness that every mom who goes through the adoption process must feel. Then, just as quickly, other adoptive moms who have walked this path before jump in with words of encouragement and hope. I love it! |
A cousin of a friend just got back with their little girl from China and had e-mailed this verse that had been an encouragement to them during the long process. Of course when it was written it was referring to something else, but they claimed the verse for the vision of adoption that the Lord had placed on their heart.
This vision (our adoption) is for a future time. It describes the end and it will be fulfilled. If it seems slow in coming, wait patiently, for it will surely take place. It will not be delayed. Habakkuk 2:3
Sunday, May 25, 2008
Wow. This has been an emotional week and a half. A friend's brother (29) was killed in a car accident, my sister miscarried her baby at 12 weeks, and then the news of Maria Chapman's death. It is almost too much to take in. I cannot imagine facing a new day if we did not have the hope in God's promise that we would see these precious ones again someday! All day I have been thinking about the song, "Held," that Natalie Grant sings. I love the lyrics..."This is what it means to be held, how it feels when the sacred is torn from your life and you survive. This is what it is to be loved, and to know that the promise was that when everything fell, we'd be held."
For us, we have received news this week that our agency in India is awaiting their re-certificaton. They have been undergoing the process for a couple of months, and all babies are on hold until the certification goes through. This is one of those government things they talk about that are totally out of your control. Right now, this has put all referrals on hold. They are hoping to maybe have a visit from CARA, the central agency in India this week, and maybe that will be the last step needed before they can begin placing children with families again. As we are waiting in this adoption process, encountering the joys, the frustrations, the setbacks, the answered prayers, the silence...I love the verses in scripture that picture us as God's children, being held in the palm of His hands. Nothing in our lives happens without His knowledge and permission...for His glory and our good! While we wait, we are sitting in the palm of God's hand and He is ordering our lives. I know that our little boy in India is sitting in the Lord's other hand and one day soon, He will bring us together in a forever family.
Saturday, May 17, 2008
|It's funny to me that this month, our first month on the waiting list, in our Kidstuf Family Worship services at our church, the focus is on "Patience...waiting until later for what you want now." Well, maybe not so much funny as appropriate timing on God's part once again. :) I feel like we've just gotten started and the "silence" can be deafening if you allow yourself to focus on it. We are of course waiting for that much anticipated referral, waiting on news from our grant applications, waiting on the copy of our completed Dossier, waiting on our I-71H pre-approval notice from Immigration, etc.|
Last night at the fundraising banquet for our home study agency, I got to hear the testimony and a concert from Jimmy Wayne, a new up-and-coming country music star. He grew up on the streets with his mom in prison, and no father. When he was 16, a couple in their 70's took him in and his life was turned around. It was so encouraging to hear how a couple can so drastically change the life of a child. Also, tomorrow, Jeoff Moore, the Christian Contempory Artist is doing a small concert at our church and giving his testimony regarding his work with Compassion International and his own adoption experiences with two daughters from China. I have heard him before and cannot wait to hear him again. I just love that in this quiet time, my heavenly Father has used these two artists to give me a gift of encouragement!
Sunday, May 11, 2008
|Wow...I hate to say it, but I am glad to have this day almost over with. It has been an exhausting Mother's Day for me. Between church, trying to coordinate lunch with my husband's parents and his brother's family, my son not feeling well, my daughters fighting and telling on each other all day, my husband not feeling well, and my son hitting my niece with his wooden fishing pole and giving her a big knot on her head...I've about "mothered" out. :)|
It is amazing to me, however, that for a brief moment this afternoon, as I was standing alone in the living room (after just having cleaned up some Sprite that my son spilled on the carpet) I thought, "Wow, my heart is aching for my child that isn't here yet. I can't wait for another child to join our family!" Crazy I know. :) Well, that's the response I get anyway from strangers in the store or at soccer games who see I have 3 and find out we are adopting. I prefer to think that God's grace is being poured out onto my life in a way I cannot explain. I am truly blessed by the gift of my 3 beautiful children and I cannot wait to meet the 4th!
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
|We don't want to focus each day on the "waiting" since it is going to be a while, but we do want to use the time to prepare our other children for a new family member. We have just begun to mention to my 3 year old that he might be getting a new little brother who will be sharing his room. "He not share my toys, " was the first response that we got. :) The next morning, he came into the kitchen and said, "where's my bwover...he not come last night?" He has mentioned it a couple of times since then too. He told a total stranger in the store this week that, "I don't know where my bwover is!" It might have been a little too soon to broach the subject with a 3 year old, but we talk about it with the girls and wanted to share it with him too. I guess when it gets a little bit closer and we actually put another bed in his room, etc., it will get a little bit more real. :)|
Friday, May 2, 2008
|Wow. This has been an unusually busy week for us. I am sure I am not going to have something to write about every day. On our other site, I tried to journal at least twice a month, but I'm having fun playing around with this "blogging" thing so who knows. :)|
We got our "Waiting Families Newsletter" today and it said that there are 13 families waiting. Since I think we have been the most recent family added to the list, I am assuming we are number 13! Now the countdown begins. It really is a Ready, Set, Wait kind of deal, so here we go.
In the waiting...I have read a great book lately that anyone interested in finding God's heart of compassion should read. It is called "Fields of the Fatherless" by C. Thomas Davis. It is a very easy read and great to do as a devotional. I highly recommend it.
Thursday, May 1, 2008
|Yeah! I got an e-mail today and we are on the list for a referral! I do not know what number we are yet since I won't be notified officially until our dossier is processed, but from what I have been reading on our forum, I'm thinking anywhere from #12 - #16 maybe. It feels amazing to finally know that we will be moving up a list slowly but surely until we receive our referral for our little boy. No more paperwork holding up that part of the process at least. |
Somehow getting on the list makes it seem a little more real to me. I guess it is similar to when I had my biological children...it didn't quite seem real until I heard the heartbeat for the first time. I guess when we finally get a referral picture maybe it will be like seeing our baby on the ultrasound for the first time. :)
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
|I was reading a devotional last night about adoption and it used the verse from John 15:5 "...apart from Me you can do nothing." I thought, "That is so true." With adoption, you truly have no control. It is all the Lord's heart for orphans and families, bringing them together in His time and in His way. With the whole financial thing and the paperwork and turning it all over to a foreign goverment, we have truly had to lay it and ourselves at the feet of Jesus and say, "It's Yours and our family is Yours...hold us...bless us...complete us." I really am excited to see what my heavenly Father is going to do!|
We already have an emotional attachment to India, this country where we have never been. We are trying to learn about the country in many different ways. We also support a little 6 year old girl from south India through Compassion International. We are learning little tidbits from her as she corresponds with us. We hope to be able to take a few extra days when we go to India to pick up our little boy and maybe we'll be able to meet Ganthimathy and her mother. That would make our adventure all the more amazing.
Monday, April 28, 2008
|Ok! I'm in over my head with this blogging thing, but everyone is doing it! I sound like a teen-ager instead of a mother of three...almost 4. I wanted a place to journal about our journey as our family grows again, this time through adoption in India. All the mom's on the forum seem to have blogs and I love reading them and seeing where they are on their journeys, so here goes. I am ready to try anything. :)|
For our first bit of info...today we mailed off our dossier packet to our adoption agency. As soon as they receive it and approve it, we will go on the list to wait for a referral for our little boy. The last average I heard was a 5-6 month wait, but the Lord knows for sure. Maybe we won't have to wait that long.