Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Recent Decisions and Developments

Recently, Elias and I have made some big decisions regarding how we are going to proceed with adoption. Before I get into that I want to mention our puzzle fundraiser one more time. We purchased a child's floor puzzle. There are 48 pieces to this puzzle. We are now looking for individuals to sponsor pieces of the puzzle for only $10. If you sponsor a piece of the puzzle then you will have your name written on the back of a piece and our child will be able to read the names of all of the people that helped bring him/her home. Ten of the pieces have already been sponsored, so we are only looking for 38 more people to complete the puzzle. We really want every piece to have a name so that our child will know how much he or she was loved even before we knew that he/she would be coming to live with us. Now, we understand that $10 is a lot for some people and if that is you, we completely understand if you can't donate. However, we also want to challenge the rest of you to think about how easily you spend $10. If you go out to eat that will pay for roughly one person's meal at a sit down restaurant. Have you gone to the movies lately? One ticket can cost most than $10! I could go on, but I won't. Every time I post an update to Facebook roughly 50 people view that update (yes I can see how many people view our blog, but I don't see specific names so you can breath easy). This doesn't include the views in between posts. So if each person that viewed our blog could spare $10 we would have our puzzle completely funded plus some. Please consider this as you follow our story and if you can't donate please continue supporting us in prayer. Also, please keep in mind that if you have donated more than $10 to us in the past you already have a piece of the puzzle.

Okay, now onto what you really want to read about. About 2 weeks ago I received the name of a social worker that I contacted to ask a few questions regarding the homestudy process. During my conversation with her I learned that rather than paying $2,000 for a homestudy through an agency we can have her do our homestudy for $600. The catch here is that not all agencies will accept that homestudy or as one told me, they would have to review the homestudy for $500. Umm, $1100 is still less than $2,000....The kicker is that this agency uses this same social worker to complete their homestudies! She also recommended possibly using an adoption attorney since we are open to a child of any race. After our conversation I proceeded to research adoption attorney's in New York State and found one that only practices adoption law. We liked this due to the fact that just because an attorney can practice adoption law, doesn't mean that they are good at it. She basically said that since we are open to a child of any race, it may not be worth using an agency at all because of all of the networking that occurs between attorneys and between attorney and adoption agencies. For example, an attorney or an agency may have a family list of families that are only will to accept children of 1-2 specific races. If they have a baby come to them that is not of those races then they will contact other attorney's or agencies to see if they have a family that is open to that race. This isn't limited to race, it could also be special needs, medical history etc. Race is just more applicable to our situation.

We also learned from the social worker that we really needed to decide if we wanted to go domestic or international. At this point we feel that a baby is best suited for our family. It is very unlikely that a baby will become available from Ghana, so we have decided to pursue domestic infant adoption. We have started the homestudy process with this social worker which will allow us to apply for grants and we will begin working with the adoption attorney that we spoke to earlier. We are hoping this this will be a faster and less expensive route, but in the world of adoption nothing is guaranteed. We feel excited and nervous about this new path, but we feel as though it is right and we can't wait to see what God has in store of us!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Tonight I was chatting with a friend from Bolivia on Facebook. We were talking about how we are trying to adopt and she reminded me of the reason that I believe we have been chosen to adopt. God could heal us at any time, but He has chosen us to care for one or more of His children that either have no parents or who's parents love them enough to recognize that they cannot parent them, but that someone else can give them the life that they can't.

This dear friend of mine lived at the children's home that we were connected with and as we were talking about adoption she said that it is a beautiful thing because there are so many children in the world that don't have parents........just like her. My heart sank when I read this line because even though I know some of her story I wasn't really thinking of how our choice to adopt would affect her on a personal level. She was fortunate to live at Stansberry, a home where she was well taken care of, but she has gone through so much in her young life. Things that are hard for most of us to imagine experiencing. She would have given anything to be adopted into a loving family, a family to call her own.

She reminded me of how blessed we are that we have been called to adopt. That God would trust us enough to give us guardianship of a child in need. When I think of this way, it makes sense that it would take us a little longer to become parents because He needed to prepare us on a different level. We won't get 9 months to wrap our heads around becoming parents, in fact we will be fortunate if we get months at all. We have to be ready when our child arrives.

My friend is now in school to become a social worker and I couldn't think of a more appropriate job.

Friday, August 10, 2012


Recently Elias and I began reading a book on suffering. In the introduction the author talks about the character of God and how we are many times taught that we suffer and prayers are not answered because we have a lesson to learn. I wouldn't say that we have felt as though God is trying to teach us a lesson that we have to learn before we have children, but I would say that I have definitely forgotten to look at the character of God throughout this process. The author reminds us that to know God's character all we have to do is look to Jesus. In my anger, grief and bitterness I have many times felt like God was completely against us having children and in many ways it felt like we were being punished even though I know that is not the character of God.

After reading this, I was walking Scrumpy in our field out back the other day and praying. I have to admit that I was surprised when the prayer that came out was for God to reveal is his character more to me. Shortly after praying this prayer a revelation, or maybe more of a reminder, was brought to mind. I was reminded in that moment that God is not doing this to us. We are a fallen and sinful people and therefore we have to experience suffering in life. While God uses that suffering and sometimes promotes the most growth from periods of suffering he does not cause us to suffer. In my anger I have lost sight of this. I have focused more on the fact that if God is all powerful, then he can provide us with a child at any time. But on this day, I was reminded that the one who is causing me to suffer is Satan. Satan has gotten into my head and heart and caused me torment and grief, and I have allowed him in my life allowing me to torment myself. Rather than recognize that God is grieving with us and hates that we have to go through this pain, I would get angry and blame him, ultimately giving Satan more power causing me more grief and anger. As soon as I realized what I had been doing and remembered God's true character of love I felt like I had been released from the bondage that I had been living in for the past number of months. I can't say that I never am sad or discouraged or that I won't have these feelings in the future, but I no longer feel like God is against us. I am not saying that it's not okay to get angry or to grieve, but I was allowing Satan to lie to me and distort the character of God. Rather than turning to God in my anger and grief I was pushing him away allowing Satan more power of my life and emotions.

This new freedom is a beautiful thing and I hope that in the coming days, months and possibly even years that I will remember this truth. Even on the hard days, I hope that I will remember that God is love and he is for us, not against us, and that he wants this for us just as much, if not more, than we do. Thank you again for all of your prayers. I truly believe that they have helped me to remember who God really is.